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Critical Thinking Side Of The Brain

In some ways, the brain is an organ much like any other and given the correct stimulus, it reacts in a predictable, physical way.  Just as aerobic exercise will cause the body to create additional red blood cells, mental stimulation will trigger the brain to make new neurons, or brain cells.  This process is known in science as neurogenesis, but it is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding how the brain works.

A person’s mental capacity is not linked so much to the total number of neurons in the brain, but rather to the number of connections those neurons have with other brain cells.  When human beings think, electrical impulses travel along the pathways formed by these connections.  Quite simply, the more such connections exist, the easier it is for a person to accomplish a variety of mental tasks from seamlessly acquiring new information to drawing conclusions from gathered evidence.

What makes brain structure truly astounding is the fact that every neuron can have as many as 30,000 separate connections.  In a very real sense, it is these connections that keep the brain alive – neurons are prone to suffer cell death when they do not receive adequate stimulation through them.

What makes the brain ‘stronger?’

At first glance, it appears that the brain is completely physical in nature since bodily exercise helps to trigger the creation of new brain cells.  What sets the brain apart from organs such as the lungs, heart, or liver, however, is the fact that mental exercise is required for it to thrive, and to help newly created brain cells to survive.  Perhaps more importantly, activities that require thought – particularly those that require critical thought – help the brain to create those all-important connections between neurons.

Where does critical thinking take place?

Researchers have known for decades that some types of thinking occur predominantly in the right side of the brain whilst others dominate the left.  When it comes to critical thinking, however, it appears that ‘whole brained’ thinking is essential.  The right side of the brain comes into play as individuals assess a situation to get the ‘big picture,’  but the left side is just as important because it is here that larger problems can be analysed and broken down into smaller parts – a necessary precondition for solving a complex system or problem.

Training programmes that focus on critical thinking help workers to think ‘outside the box’, even as they provide mental stimulation that can make the brain stronger over the long term.

Find out more about our creativity and innovation training courseshere

Tags:creative thinking techniques, creativity and innovation

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Are you a left-brained, right-brained or somewhere in between?

Retno Wulandari   22 March 2016 09:19 - Are you a left-brained, right-brained or somewhere in between? It’s always interesting to discover things about ourselves, and in this case, our characteristics based on the dominant side of our brain.

You've probably heard the phrase mentioned numerous times or perhaps you've even taken an online test to determine which type best describes you. While some tests are somehow made difficult and take long to complete, this test is rather simple and quick. But before we carry on with the test, we need a better understanding of the roles our different brain hemispheres play:

Image via scoop

The right brain

According to the left-brain, right brain dominance theory, the right side of the brain is dedicated to expressive and creative tasks. Some of the abilities popularly associated with the right side of the brain include:

Recognizing faces

Expressing emotions

Reading emotions






Spontaneous actions

The left brain

The left-side of the brain is considered to be dedicated to tasks that involve logic, language, and analytical thinking. The left-brain is typically better at:



Critical thinking







In this simple test, we only have to do small body-related activities. To begin, take a good sitting position, not too close from your computer desk. If you read this article through a mobile phone, just place it on the desk in front of you.

First test (A)

Unite your hands together with fingers entwined as if you are praying, just like this:

Image via lawppl

Then take a look at your thumb. If your left hands thumb laid under the right hands, it indicates that you are a left-brain dominant person. If your right hand’s thumb automatically goes under the left hand’s, it indicates that you are a right-brain dominant person.

Second test (B)

Cross your arms in front of your body just like this:

Image via reddit

If your right arm is positioned over the left arm, it indicates that you dominantly use your left brain.  If your left arm is positioned over the right arm, it means that you mainly use your right brain.

The Verdict

Now let’s take a look at what your hands-related gesture said about your character, based on the dominant side of the brain you are using.

A right + B left

You are using the both sides of your brains in a balanced manner though you sometimes use your right brain more often. You are a caring person and tend to be conventional, sociable, vigilant, unselfish, and stable. You have hard times describing things in simple words and tend to be elaborate.

A right + B right

You are using your right brain in most situations and you love challenges. You tend to act natural, careless, reckless, reactive, quick in action, have a strong imagination, are curious and rarely taking people’s thoughts into consideration. You leave everything up to gut instinct.

A left + B left

You are a left brain dominant. You strive for perfection and it is your nature to be careless, logical, reliable and truthful. You think critically before arriving at a first impression, and think critically when confronting problems or drawing deeper conclusions. But sometimes you insist upon your opinion just because you feel that you’re the only one who is right. People avoid standing against you, because they think you’re a formidable opponent.

A left + B right

You are using both sides of your brains in most situations, but there are times when you depend more on your left brain. You love and have a talent for caring for other. You are a natural leader who is thoughtful, calm, responsible, well-thought-out and concerned with how you look. You are a smooth-talker and know how to deal with most situations. You leave more complex issues to instinct.