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THE DIVIDED BRAIN (THE MASTER AND HIS EMISSARY)
The divided brain is a way of understanding how the human brain does what it
does. McGilchrist believes that what matters is not what the brain does but how
it does it.
The brain has two hemispheres, the left and the right, connected by a band of
tissue called the corpus callosum, which allows the two sides of the brain to
communicate with each other.
The left side of the brain is dominant but has a narrow focus and is rational and
logical. The right side sees a wider picture (the Gestalt whole), and is the voice of
reality grounded in experience. Both sides can and do sometimes function
separately from each other. How we see and experience the world depends on
how we focus our attention.
McGilchrist explains that we develop a preference for using a particular side of
the brain for certain tasks, though both sides are in fact capable of performing it.
But the left side of the brain is dominant and good at inhibiting the voice of the
right side. If we are to see and experience a wider reality then we need to
deliberately engage with the right side of our brains.
Iain McGilchrist describes the real differences between the left and right halves of the human brain. Courtesy of RSA Animate.