Right Brain Vs Left Brain Dominance: What Is The Difference?

Reviewed by Elizabeth Gonzalez Cueto, MD

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Right Brain Vs Left Brain

The brain is an extraordinarily complicated and intriguing organ that controls and coordinates all of the body’s operations. From sensation and perception to cognition and emotion, the brain is vital to our daily existence.

Left-brain and right-brain dominance is a common notion that suggests the left and right hemispheres of the brain have unique and different roles. Recent research has demonstrated that this idea is largely false and that the brain is significantly more complex and interconnected than was previously believed.

In this post, we will investigate the true nature of the human brain and how it functions, as well as the myth of left and right brain dominance, as well as advice and supplements for boosting and maintaining brain health.

How Does The Human Brain Work?

The human brain[1] is the most complex organ in the body. It is responsible for controlling and coordinating all of the body’s functions.

Brain research[2] is rapidly evolving, and new facts reveal themselves every day. Therefore, keeping an open mind and always consulting reputable sources for the most up-to-date information is essential.

The idea that the left and right hemispheres have different functions, with the left side being more logical and the right side more creative, is widespread but largely untrue. The two hemispheres have different functions, but they work together to complete all tasks and are interconnected, not separate.

Right Brain vs Left Brain

The “Left Brain, Right Brain” Myth

Left and right brain dominance theory is a popular myth. Research[3] in the 1960s suggested that the two sides of the brain had different specializations, but we now know that the two hemispheres are complex and interconnected.

Brain operations coordinate between left and right sides, and “left-brain” or “right-brain” dominance doesn’t have much grounding in reality. That said, the two brain hemispheres do share some tasks unevenly.

“Neuromyths” concerning the brain have increased in recent years. Many of these have been developed as learning theories or methods. These fallacies often stem from sound science, making them harder to spot and debunk. To avoid educational dead ends, they must be disproven because they are incomplete, extrapolated beyond the facts, or untrue. Here are some examples: 

  • “I‟m a “left-brain‟, she’s a “right-brain‟ person.”
  • “But I read somewhere that we only use 10% of our brain anyway.”
  • “Learn while you sleep!” 

Right Brain Functions

The right-brain hypothesis[4] suggests that the brain’s right hemisphere controls various functions, including spatial awareness, facial recognition, creativity, and self-expression. Right-brained people are said to be better at understanding and navigating the environment, recognizing familiar objects and people, generating new ideas and concepts, and appreciating and creating music and art. The theory suggests that left-handed people are right-brained. Also, some studies[5] support the right-hemisphere dominance paradigm for all emotions.

Left Brain Functions

The left brain hypothesis[6] suggests the left hemisphere is where the brain processes information. It’s responsible for language processing, logical thinking, math and science, and planning and organization. These functions include understanding and producing language, thinking critically, solving problems, working with numbers, and setting and achieving goals. The hypothesis says left-brained people tend to be right-handed.

All of this is an oversimplification of a complex phenomenon. Most functions occur through the collaboration of different brain regions. The idea that the left and right sides of the brain have distinct hardwiring is largely false[7] Instead, we find that both sides of the brain overlap and work together in performing various functions. In addition, the brain is highly adaptable, and different brain areas can take over the roles of damaged or removed areas.

How To Determine Right Brain vs Left Brain Dominance

The concept of left-brain or right-brain dominance is not scientifically valid. Most individuals use both sides of the brain equally. The theory that the dominant hand or eye is related to the brain’s hemispheres is largely untrue.

Studies[8] have shown that handedness and eye dominance are not clear indicators of the dominant hemisphere of the brain. Instead, a combination of genetic and environmental factors determines these behavioral features.

While there is no definitive way to determine a person’s dominant hemisphere, methods such as brain scans and psychological tests can provide information about the brain’s structure and functionality. These methods are considered inconclusive and should not be used to make definitive statements about a person’s brain function.

Tips To Boost Your Brain Performance

Get enough sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep for overall health and well-being is well-established[9] Adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining cognitive function, including memory and learning.

Tip: Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to help keep your brain sharp.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise has been shown[10] to impact cognitive functions positively. Aerobic exercise, in particular, can increase blood flow to the brain, which can help to improve cognitive function and episodic memory.

Tip: Aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises, such as brisk walking or cycling, most days of the week.

Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet[11] is essential for overall health, including your brain’s health. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help to improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline.

Tip: Avoid processed and sugary foods, drinks and tobacco which can harm brain health.

Challenge your brain with new tasks

Keeping your brain active and engaged is vital[12] for maintaining cognitive function and preventing age-related cognitive decline.

Tip: Challenge your brain by learning a new skill, reading a challenging book, or solving a puzzle.

Meditate or practice mindfulness

Studies[13] show that meditation and mindfulness practices positively impact brain health. These practices can help to reduce stress, improve focus and concentration, and increase gray matter in the brain.

Tip: Look into meditation and mindfulness apps to help you build the skill and develop the habit.

Socialize with friends and family

Strong social[14] connections are essential for overall well-being, including brain health. Spending time with friends and family can help to reduce stress, improve mood, promote cognitive function, and even to be beneficial in the management of dementia.

Tip: Spend as much time with people in person as you can. Even phone calls and video chats are better than social media.

Supplements To Keep Your Brain Healthy

Recent research[15] indicates that over 25 percent of persons over the age of 50 use a supplement to improve their brain health with the promise of improved memory and better attention and focus. The main problem is that there is no solid evidence that any of them work, that’s why a DASH or Mediterranean diet rich in vitamins and minerals can improve your overall health and brain functions.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, such as salmon and tuna, and some plant-based sources, such as flaxseed and chia seeds. They are essential for maintaining brain health and have been linked to improved memory, attention, and mood.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is in animal-based foods, such as meat, eggs, and dairy. It is crucial in maintaining healthy nerve function; studies link it to improved cognitive function and mood. Supplementation is particularly important if you consume a plant-based diet.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is synthesized by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight, and you can also find it in small amounts in food, such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and mushrooms. It is essential for maintaining healthy brain function and has been linked to improved mood and cognitive function.

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba is an herb used for centuries in traditional medicine. It is believed to improve blood flow to the brain and has been linked to improved memory and cognitive function, as well as reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.


Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid found in the brain and other organ systems. Scientists believe it plays a role in maintaining healthy brain function and has been linked to improved memory, cognitive function, and mood.


Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid believed to improve brain energy metabolism, cognitive function, memory, and mood. It is also thought to have neuroprotective properties and may help protect the brain from damage caused by aging.


CBD (Cannabidiol) is a compound in hemp and marijuana plants. It’s understood to have potential benefits for brain health, including reducing inflammation and promoting neuroplasticity. In addition, some studies suggest that CBD may help treat anxiety, depression, and PTSD. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of CBD on the brain and its potential as a supplement for brain health.

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound and will not get you high, so it’s legal in most places, but always double-check the laws in your country and state before consuming it.

While these substances may be beneficial for brain health. However, hard data proving it’s beneficial for otherwise healthy people to take supplements is still lacking. Supplements should not replace a healthy diet and lifestyle. And it is always best to consult a healthcare professional before adding supplements to your routine.


All of our body’s operations are regulated and coordinated by the brain, a remarkably sophisticated and intriguing organ. The brain is significantly more complicated and interconnected than previously believed, despite the common idea that the left or right hemisphere dominates.

Different regions of the brain are able to assume the functions of damaged or missing regions. You can also improve your brain health by getting adequate sleep, exercising frequently, eating a good diet, challenging yourself with novel tasks, meditating or practicing mindfulness, and engaging in social activities. With the assistance of a healthcare practitioner, you may also choose brain health and performance-enhancing supplements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the left brain and the right brain?

The left brain is associated with language, logic, and analytical thinking, while the right brain is associated with creativity, spatial awareness, and artistic ability. However, it is now understood that both sides of the brain are involved in a wide range of functions and that there is significant overlap between the two sides.

Is the “left brain, right brain” myth true?

The idea that the left and right sides of the brain have distinct and separate functions is a popular but largely untrue concept. This idea, known as the “left brain, right brain” myth, originated from research in the 1960s that suggested that the two sides of the brain had different specializations. However, more recent research has shown that the brain is much more complex and interconnected than initially thought and that the two sides of the brain work together to perform various tasks and functions.

Can you determine your dominant hemisphere?

There is no clear-cut way to determine if a person has a dominant hemisphere or not, in fact, it is considered a “neuromyth”, as the brain functions are very complex and interrelated. However some methods are used to assess the lateralization of brain function, but these methods are not conclusive.

Are handedness and eye dominance related to the hemispheres of the brain?

The gluteus muscles should be targeted if you want to get The idea that the dominant hand or eye is related to the hemispheres of the brain is a popular but largely untrue concept. Handedness and eye dominance are determined by the combination of genetic and environmental factors.

+ 15 sources

MIDSS adheres to strict procurement guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutes, and medical associations. We work mainly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure the accuracy of the information. We avoid the use of tertiary references. You can read about how we ensure the accuracy and timeliness of our content in our editorial process.

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  2. Nih.gov. (2022). Brain Basics: Know Your Brain | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. [online] Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/health-information/public-education/brain-basics/brain-basics-know-your-brain [Accessed 3 Feb. 2023].
  3. ‌Nih.gov. (2018). How does the brain work? [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279302/ [Accessed 3 Feb. 2023].
  4. Nielsen, J.A., Zielinski, B.A., Ferguson, M.A., Lainhart, J.E. and Anderson, J.S. (2013). An Evaluation of the Left-Brain vs. Right-Brain Hypothesis with Resting State Functional Connectivity Magnetic Resonance Imaging. PLoS ONE, [online] 8(8), p.e71275. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071275.
  5. Gainotti, G. (2019). The Role of the Right Hemisphere in Emotional and Behavioral Disorders of Patients With Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration: An Updated Review. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, [online] 11. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2019.00055.
  6. Nielsen, J.A., Zielinski, B.A., Ferguson, M.A., Lainhart, J.E. and Anderson, J.S. (2013). An Evaluation of the Left-Brain vs. Right-Brain Hypothesis with Resting State Functional Connectivity Magnetic Resonance Imaging. PLoS ONE, [online] 8(8), p.e71275. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071275.
  7. Physiological Reviews. (2020). Brain Lateralization: A Comparative Perspective | Physiological Reviews. [online] Available at: https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/physrev.00006.2019? [Accessed 3 Feb. 2023].
  8. Corballis, M.C. (2014). Left Brain, Right Brain: Facts and Fantasies. PLoS Biology, [online] 12(1), p.e1001767. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001767.
  9. Ma, Y., Liang, L., Zheng, F., Shi, L., Zhong, B. and Xie, W. (2020). Association Between Sleep Duration and Cognitive Decline. JAMA Network Open, [online] 3(9), p.e2013573. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.13573.
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  11. Berding, K., Vlckova, K., Marx, W., Schellekens, H., Stanton, C., Clarke, G., Jacka, F., Dinan, T.G. and Cryan, J.F. (2021). Diet and the Microbiota–Gut–Brain Axis: Sowing the Seeds of Good Mental Health. Advances in Nutrition, [online] 12(4), pp.1239–1285. doi:10.1093/advances/nmaa181.
  12. Brooker, H., Wesnes, K.A., Ballard, C., Hampshire, A., Aarsland, D., Khan, Z., Stenton, R., Megalogeni, M. and Corbett, A. (2019). The relationship between the frequency of number-puzzle use and baseline cognitive function in a large online sample of adults aged 50 and over. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, [online] 34(7), pp.932–940. doi:10.1002/gps.5085.
  13. Malinowski, P. and Shalamanova, L. (2017). Meditation and Cognitive Ageing: the Role of Mindfulness Meditation in Building Cognitive Reserve. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, [online] 1(2), pp.96–106. doi:10.1007/s41465-017-0022-7.
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Nia is a STEM educator, certified personal trainer, fitness instructor, and certified nurses' aid. She received her Bachelor's in Creative Writing and Music Theory from The College of Idaho in 2010 at the age of 18. She spent the next 5 years studying Biochemistry and STEM education at Boise State University. Now a mother of 2, she resides in central Idaho and owns a writing agency specializing in content and copywriting for Health, Science, & Education.


Elizabeth Gonzalez Cueto, MD
Medical Doctor & Medical Writer
My name is Elizabeth and I am a Medical Doctor (MBBS) with experience as a medical and research article writer, reviewer and proofreader. I have worked for the American Journal of Case Reports, the Medical Science Monitor, and Pacific Medical Training as a medical article reviewer and writer. Besides, I have worked as a medical interpreter and translator for Angel City research and SC3 Research group as a medical research assistant for several clinical trials. My academic background includes many international scientific environments like Oxford University, United Kingdom. Hannover Medical School, the University of Tours, France. the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico.

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