One Brain or Two ?

The two halves of the brain have specific functions and deal with different aspects of our lives as well as controlling opposite sides of the body.

These lists show some of the characteristics of the two halves. More oxygen helps to keep the two sides in balance.

Left Side Right Side
Aggressive Calming
Logical Intuitive
Sequential Simultaneous
Analytical Holistic
Outer-directed Inner-directed
Rational Emotional
Objective Subjective
Masculine Feminine
Hot Cool
Sun Moon
Mathematical and verbal activities Spacial and nonverbal activities

Which is more dominant: the right or left side? Apparently, each side possesses certain characteristics (by virtue of apparent mapping of the various functions) which manifest themselves through patterns, behaviour and cognitive processes.

Though both sides work together, it can be said that one hemisphere is dominant. After taking the inventory, I realized(not surprisingly) that I am more of a right side person. Which are you?

Mental Aspects of the brain

Brain cells have a high rate of metabolism, so it requires much more oxygen, relatively, than any other organ of the body. The common remedy for stress is to take a deep breath; indeed, supplying the brain with sufficient oxygen is the greatest tool in stress management. A lack of oxygen means a loss of mental balance, concentration, and control of the emotions.

When neurons in a particular region of the brain are highly active, they consume a great deal of oxygen, which results in recruitment of extra blood flow to that region.

It is the body's most energetic organ, consuming at least 20 per cent of its calories even when at rest. But unlike muscle cells or other organs, it is unable to store energy and needs a constant supply of glucose and oxygen in the blood.

Its power can be increased by up to 20 per cent when people take extra supplies of either of the two basic neural fuels, the study by psychologists suggests. Their research also found that a single dose of gingko, an herbal extract that improves blood flow, oxygenation and glucose metabolism, can improve concentration for as long as six hours.

Researchers at the Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit of the University of Northumbria say the findings could help develop treatments for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer's and dementia.

Their study, reported in The Psychologist magazine, found that oxygen or glucose had the biggest effect when people were set the most difficult mental tasks. Volunteers remembered up to 20 per cent more words from a list after they were given a short blast of oxygen through a face mask.

A dose of oxygen also improved performance when playing the computer game Tetris when the game was at its hardest level.

What can do aerobic exercise to your body?

While exercising your muscles you improve the heart's ability to pump blood more effectively,

as well increase the blood's oxygen-carrying capacity.

The result is not only that you improve your muscle tone but also you have similar effects on the brain.

Aerobic exercise and proper breathing could be just as effective as medication in treating major depression.

Mental Benefits of Aerobic Exercises and Proper Breathing

  • Improved concentration and greater clarity of thought
  • Increased ability to deal with complex situations without suffering from stress
  • Better emotional control and equilibrium
  • Improve physical control and coordination

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