The L-brain person

Common behaviours

"When you talk, you repeat what you already know; when you listen, you often learn something."

—Jared Sparks

The L-brain person

L-brain types are a cognitive style of thinking preferred by people when solving problems. It means the person can efficiently and effectively transfer information from the R-brain to the L-brain on a regular basis.

A l-brain person is highly skilled in seeing the "trees in the forest" so to speak. They rely, and prefer to engage, heavily on the external world and use their own eyes to directly observe and recognise very specific, often (initially) unrelated, patterns, remember those patterns (often by organising them in a linear way for easier recall) and are able to pick out those patterns again with remarkable ease and speed thanks to their good memory. In essence, L-brain people excel in extracting specific observable patterns from human experience, organising them, storing them in memory, and recalling them quickly when needed.

L-brain people are also the practical types with a panache for communicating in a verbal sense what they see and/or have remembered in the past because they readily give these specific observable patterns names and sounds to describe them in everyday language.

In a social setting, L-brain people are capable of showing tolerance, but are conditioned to being discriminate because of their ability to detect specific patterns. Of course, whether these people are able to see the patterns in a positive way, is another question. But in general, the detection of patterns and to do it quickly, especially when specific patterns need to be recalled, is essential where survival is at stake.

With this in mind, men are more likely to develop strong L-brain skills than women. The evidence for this can be seen in the size of the corpus callosum separating the two sides of the brain as well as the activities most men perform. The corpus callosum tend to be smaller in men than in women, suggesting that information in the brain does not regularly get transferred to both sides of the cerebral hemispheres (or only flows in one preferred direction, mainly useful for pattern-recognition and later to act on the recognised pattern via a well-defined, tried and tested task in order to reach a familiar goal). Also men prefer to undertake technically-proficient jobs and/or hobbies requiring extensive analysis.

Another reason why men develop strong L-brain skills is because this particular gender are more likely to have a short lifespan because of numerous conflicts with predators and other L-brain men facing similar survival-based tasks and, therefore, need to remember and perform specific actions like communicating, building tools, categorising things, recalling patterns and performing other tasks quickly to achieve a few well-defined goal(s) before their time is up. A perfectly understandable approach to life since any delayed reaction to a situation could mean the difference between life and death. Thus any means to reinforce these L-brain skills are often highly regarded among most males.

The L-brain approach to life is easily taught through regular exposure to survival-related images such as violence, death, hunger and action on the news, in movies and documentaries on animals and on video games. In video games, you are often required to find quick solutions using whatever tools you have acquired and can achieve the goal you want with great speed (i.e., blasting your opponents or enemies). It develops high speed reactions and quick thinking using tools you have become familiar with and knowing what they can achieve.

L-brain skills can also be taught through regular and intense verbal communication, listening and playing fast and complicated rhythm-based music (e.g. rap or popular quick tempo teen music, and where singing the words requires extreme dexterity in the tongue and mouth to pronounce the words clearly and quickly), and other common L-brain building activities, usually designed to be crammed into your life for long periods of time (but with regular rest to ensure the L-brain patterns are probably etched into the memory).

But this kind of rigid, fast and down-the-line, short-term "survival-based" analytical thinking is well compensated for when we see that the brain size in men is greater than in women as would be expected if men, being so discriminating, have to remember many specific patterns. (1)

The view that men are more L-brain and women are R-brain was covered in a somewhat simplistic way with such popular psychology books as, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.

Examples of L-brain people in modern society include scientists and lawyers.


Do you want to develop L-brain skills?

Despite some potential problems, there are definitely great benefits to be had from developing good strong L-brain skills. Nothing wrong with this at all. If you are one of those people needing to develop L-brain skills, the advice below may help you.

To develop L-brain skills, you need to be more spontaneous in what you do. We suggest trying different things to gain sufficient experience and skills. As you gain confidence in the knowledge acquired and memory of your experiences and skills, your mind and body will be able to start recalling and applying the new patterns you have acquired with great speed and skill. If necessary, use techniques to help you remember these experiences and skills. Then apply yourself to implementing the experiences and skills by doing things (i.e. practical skills).

For a L-brain approach to problem-solving, try the following:

  1. Be aware of potentially contentious arguments being made by someone.
  2. Start to be curious by asking the questions "What?", "Why" and "How?" to a particular argument.
  3. Gather information to answer these questions from all known and available sources, including from potential experts in the field.
  4. Ask for the reasons and evidence in support of the experts' position or views.
  5. Organise and categorise these views, especially if there are many different views. See each view as a contention (a statement being asserted by someone). Each contention must have a reason. The reason will have one or more claims in support of the contention. Use green as a colour to mark the ones in support of a contention. Use red to highlight the views against the contention. Try to make sure there is a balance of red and green for every argument where possible.
  6. Organise and categorise the evidence.
  7. Look for differences in the things observed or discussed by others in their claims. Are the claims being made logical and solid based on the evidence available?
  8. Organise and categorise these differences, especially if there are many differences.
  9. Through these differences you may create your own or discover additional views not considered before. Again you gather the reasons, objections and rebuttals through quotes, statistics and specific events/experiences/experiments in support of these views.
  10. Soon you will get to a point where you can challenge the views of some experts and other sources or give greater credence to others depending on the evidence gathered. In other words, you use the available evidence to show on the basis of probabilities which views are likely to be correct or not in a process known as reasoning and challenging. From this, you can quickly see which arguments are biased or flawed and therefore should be challenged, and which ones are most probably correct.
  11. Sometimes your creative skills will see something that no expert has seen before from the available evidence in support of a new view or position. If not...
  12. You must know in the end the solution(s) to a problem and your reasons together with the evidence in support of your reasons.

before returning to society to present the final facts and evidence.

For example, in the UFO problem, you may be given a contentious view (e.g., some UFOs are alien). So you may approach it from the L-brain side by gathering opinions from potential experts in the field and looking at the statistics. Then you look more closely at the statistics and examples representing the data (i.e., the UFO reports). And as you do, you may discover how some differences will reveal events that do not fit all the data supporting some of the experts' views for some reason. So you delve further, looking for more quotes (since you can't directly observe these unusual UFOs) from original witnesses and other experts. You talk to the original people who made the claims. You talk and listen to a broader range of experts to find out what is really going on. You pick out the different or unusual observations in the claims from these witnesses for comparison with the examples relied in the statistics to support the views of others. You look for alternative explanations to support the differences, even the ones that might seem absurd or unlikely (e.g., aliens visiting the Earth). Then you gather evidence to support the explanations, to see how likely these alternative explanations might be in reality.

It is at this point that you may realise the importance of having some R-brain skills to discover a new pattern or explanation that no one else has considered before. But if not, you present the findings and all the possible solutions and with it, on the basis of probabilities, the most likely solution(s) and their evidence.

To make the skills of critical thinking easier to understand and implement, organising and categorising is the most important technique L-brain people often use. One method is to see the general concepts or categories for a group of things you want to organise. So you would use, for instance, the general category Fruits where you notice a group of different fruits such as bananas, apples and grapes. Therefore you create a general category and place the specific things relating to this category underneath in a hierarchical structure to form what are potentially further sub-categories. We call this abstraction. Eventually you will draw a pyramid-shaped mapping structure of all your categories, subcategories and their specific things you acknowledge as differences.

Now depending on how R-brain or L-brain you are, you may see many similarities from the R-brain side in the so-called different things you want organised and therefore create a shallow pyramid mapping structure on a single page. Or if you are L-brain and see many different categories and no obvious similarities in the various things, the pyramid mapping structure can be deep and complex looking.

For a truly unified and grass roots solution or argument for explaining everything to become obvious to you, you are aiming to make the pyramid as shallow as you can to show you have understood the relationships between all relevant things. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a quick fix solution to a specific problem, a deeper pyramid structure may give you a range of possible short-term solutions.

From this latter approach, L-brain people often develop strong critical thinking skills by listening to a view (especially when they have to in order to change something or themselves, whether from an expert or not), asking why for a reason, listening to the opposing views and their reasons, and looking at the evidence in support of all the reasons through the available and known quotes, statistics and specific events.

Therefore, it is not unusual for L-brain people to develop their skills by working with others and in applying practical skills in making things (e.g. carpentry, performing experiments, reading from various literary sources), in communicating known ideas and stories with various people, and in being in service to others (i.e. doing common everyday things we all take for granted when helping others).