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7.3.4. How We Think: Left Brain, Right Brain


How To Invent (Almost) Anything > 7. How The Brain Works > 7.3. How We Think: Patterns of the Mind > 7.3.4. How We Think: Left Brain, Right Brain

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Left-brain, Right-brain

The ‘learning brain’ cortex of the brain is not uniform in its use and different parts get used for different functions, such as speech and motor control (which is why brain damage can have different debilitating effects). This is accentuated by the way the cortex is divided into two halves, connected only by the bundle of nerve cells called the corpus callosum. Roger Sperry received a Nobel Prize in 1983 for his work that showed how these perform different functions. Where the left hemisphere deals more with language, logic and detail, the right hemisphere deals more with patterns and wholes.

The work of Sperry and his colleagues has led to the useful notion of ‘left-brained thinking’ as cold and logical and right-brained thinking as emotional and creative. Thus the Analytic invention methods of Chapter 1 can be seen as left-brained and the ‘creative’ methods of Chapter 10 as right-brained. A caveat to this: this is a tendency and the divide is not as clear as some would have you believe. Nevertheless, there is some truth to it and it can be a useful thinking model.


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