Left Brain, as part of Whole-Brain, Dictates the Detail

Generally Speaking (pun intended) :)

The brain is divided into two sides, or hemispheres: a left brain (hemisphere) and a right brain (hemisphere). Each hemisphere can also furthermore be divided into quadrants, so that you would have an Upper left and a lower left; upper right and lower right.

Each quadrant has its own functions and contributes to the whole picture of brain functions - Whole-brained!

For now we are going to focus on what the left brain brings to our wholebrained understanding of things.

Topics on this page:

• General Descriptors

• Skills

• Responsive to

• Typical language usage

• As described by others

• Learning/teaching and facilitation requirements

Upper Left Hemisphere

Generally speaking the left hemisphere processes information from parts to the whole, taking pieces of data in an orderly arrangement before drawing conclusions.

It's the side of the brain that functions in rational, analytical thinking. This left side works with definite and established information, solving problems logically and sequentially.

Lefties examine parts (in fine detail!)and analyze differences. They tend to lead planned and structured existences and ...you guessed it, they do better at multiple-choice tests than essays. So are all the teachers and lecturers left brained?! Hmmm...

left brain

Upper Left Brain Descriptors

• Auditory

• Logical

• Factual

• Critical

• Rational

• Sequential

• Analytical

• Quantitive

• Authoritarian

• Numerical

• Suppresses instinct and intuition

• Controls emotion

• Enjoys reading

left brain humour

Top Left Brain Skills

• Articulate

• Problem solving

• Analysis

• Creating and using statistics

• Technical

time is a left brain attribute

Top Left-Brainers Respond well to:

• Financial

• Recalling names and dates

• Good time sense

• Reasoning and debate

• Formal speech

• Facts and figures

• Lists

• Financial/technical data

• Step by step instructions

• Verbal directions

Brain processes

left brain analysis with computer in suit and tie

Typical Words or Phrases They May Use:

• “The specific tools for this .....”

• “Hardware”

• “Key point”

• “The bottom line is ...”

• “Take it apart”

• “Break it down into...”

• “Critical analysis”

• “The process is...”

• “Where has it been proven?”

• “What is your source of information?”

left brain humour

When other people describe typical left-brainers they may use derogatory phrases like:

• ‘Number cruncher’ • ‘Power hungry’ • ‘Unemotional’ • ‘Calculating’ • ‘Uncaring’ • ‘Cold fish” • ‘Nerd’

humour from the left

Top Left Brain CAREERS:

• Librarian • Curator • Speech Pathologist • Writer • Researcher • Radio / TV Presenter • Journalist • Lawyer • Proof reader • Language teacher • Translator • PR consultants • Politician • Public speaker • Editor • Auditor • Accountant • Purchasing agent • Engineer • Directors • Bankers • Underwriter • Deal-makers • Trouble shooters • Statistician • Analysts • Insurance brokers • Negotiators • Actuary • Science Teacher • Composer • Surgeon • Osteopath • Photographer • Urban planner • School Principal • Religious minister • Medical practitioners • Astronomer • Meteorologist • Geologist

Learning /Teaching/Facilitation Strategies

When we learn, teach or facilitate it never happens from one quadrant of the brain only.

However, if we consider what the left brain brings to the leaning environment, it helps us to ensure that those elements must be a part of the presentation or lesson.

We often focus only on what serves us, personally, in learning, forgetting that the audience is definitely using other parts of the brain. So make sure these elements are included so the learning/facilitation can be as wholebrained as possible

The Upper Left Brain Learns By:

• Thinking through ideas and concepts

• Getting facts together

• Using logic and analysis

• Forming theories

• Using proven information

left side being at cutting edge

Upper Left Brain Learning Must Be Facilitated By Providing The Following In The Learning Environment:

• Text books

• Formal lectures

• Technical or financial case discussions

• Programmed learning

• Behaviour modification strategies

• Sequential analysis possibilities

• Deductive exercises

• Applying critical analysis

• Prefers authoritarian situations – who is in charge

• Rules and regulations

• Using abstract concepts

To Teachers, Facilitators and Trainers

Great care must be taken by teachers, trainers and facilitators of learning to ensure that all the needs of all the learners are incorporated in the total lesson plan.


Effective learning only happens when it is wholebrained and learning style facilitated.

Please go to the pages for the other quadrants as well the different learning styles.

Explore Multiple Intelligences!

Now It's Your Turn!

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