Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Brain Science This Saturday!!

Howdy, Science Fans!

Our next BTDS program is about studying the brain! How does your brain work?? You might know that it's separated into two halves - the left brain and the right brain, and that the two halves generally specialize in different types of thinking. The two halves are connected by a thick cord of neurons called the corpus callosum.

Most of what we know about which half does what we've figured out from brains that aren't functioning normally. For example if a person's brain is injured and they lose the ability to speak, then we know that the part of the brain that was injured must have something to do with speaking. Studies on people whose corpa callosa has been severed (for other reasons) can tell us a lot about how the left brain functions without the right and how the right brain functions without the left.

But it's a lot harder to find out anything about how the brain works when it's whole and healthy and functioning properly. We can't just watch it do its thing! How and when and why do the two halves "talk" to one another? What does each half contribute when they are working properly together?

Our guest scientist this month has an ingenious way of studying these aspects of our brains!

Dr. Shelia Kennison is a psychologist who uses glitches in language as windows into how our brains function. By carefully studying how people make meaning out of written words, she can reveal communication between the two sides of the brain!

We will get to experience what it's like to be one of Dr. Kennison's subjects, and as always we'll get to "think like a scientist" and explore other ways the mysterious workings of the brain might be understood.

The program starts Saturday morning at 10:00 at the Stillwater Public Library, room 119.
I hope to see you there!!

In the meantime, check out these related websites!

- For a quick overview of left and right brain functions check out this chart from funderstanding.com

The Split Brian Game - you become a researcher studying "Mr. Split Brainy." See if you can figure out what's going on in his head!

- To find out how left or right brained you are, take this test!

Here are my results - please post yours!

Thank you for taking the Creativity Test. The results show your brain dominance as being: 

Left BrainRight Brain


  1. I am slightly right brained. Left-brained 50%, right-brained 51%. My left brain is upset that my numbers do not add up to 100%! Hope to make it Saturday. MLM

  2. Hi Margaret,
    Thanks for posting. That's funny! You have too much brain!