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Scientific News, Brain Development
“Lotos”, Jan 1935
For a long time, research has been done on the motor centers of the brain in connection with the existence of so-called “left-handed people”, who write, eat, sew, etc. with the left hand instead of the right hand. Discoveries made in this direction are very important. As is known, the left hemisphere of the brain controls the movements of the right part of the body and vice versa, because the speech center, e.g. in “normal” humans is in the left hemisphere, in the left-handed, this center, it was believed, develops in the right hemisphere. Today we know that man has two proper speech centers and that both can be developed.
The first start in this direction was made by prof. Frankel (Germany). He engaged in the forced development of the right cerebral hemisphere in a patient who had lost his speech completely owing to overuse of the left hemisphere. After a certain passage of time, the patient developed the second speech center to such an extent that he did not feel any difficulty in using it. After these and a few other events, this is the issue students of the same caliber as prof. Leopold Katcher (Germany), Dr. Jackson (London), Dr. Varia Kipani (Belgium), prof. Van Biervliet (University in Gent). Dr. Kipani claims that already at school they make children “one-sided cripples”, teaching them to use only one hemisphere and one part of the torso, causing partial inertia of the other. Dr. Kipani calls it “pedagogical paralysis” and strongly calls for the training of the centers of the right hemisphere by writing with the left hand, mirror reading, etc.
Prof. Katcher claims that a child who is taught to use both the left and the right hand for writing and manual work has a keener intelligence, an excellent memory, an increased ability to focus attention, and quickness in carrying out orders. Based on these claims in some schools of London, Brussels and Königsberg, children learn to write first with their right hand, then with their left. This method yielded wonderful results.
Prof. Biervliet also highlights the sad results of left-sided disability, practiced for centuries. After experiments conducted on in over 200 individuals, he found that normal “right-handed” people have organs the sensory organs on the right side of the body are much better developed than left. The right eye sees more accurately and better, the right ear hears more clearly, The sense of touch is much sharper in the fingers of the right hand, etc. So we use only half of our brain energy.
Practicing writing with your left hand is of great use in learning languages. Foreign words written with the left hand are instantly and forever registered in the right hemisphere. (This is, by the way, my own idea, practiced when learning many foreign languages. Studying Spanish or Hungarian, for example, did not take me more than 3-4 months. I speak naturally a thorough familiarization with grammar, spelling, pronunciation, accent; getting into the “spirit of language” requires a special linguistic sense.
The same thing happens with the control of shyness, nervousness, stage fright: using the left hand, a secure equilibrium is created not only in the brain, but also psychologically.
We find extremely interesting data in Jack Borlase’s book: The Ultimate Philosophy. Dr. Borlase says for a long time he was tormented by the conviction that he was overusing the left hemisphere and leaving the right one idle. So he decided to take care of the “education” of the right. Beginning training was reading in the mirror. After several hundred minutes of such exercises (performed in the late evening), the feeling of drowsiness and fatigue completely disappeared: the left hemisphere rested, the work was done by the right hemisphere. “Until 4 p.m”, continues Mr. Borlase, “I worked like a normal ‘right-handed’ man. From 5 to 6 o’clock I did the left side exercises, after which I was able to return to work in the laboratory fully rested. A few minutes of reading in the mirror will prove to the most skeptical person that something extraordinary happens with the brain, as well as when writing, drawing, sewing or eating with the left hand.”
The influence of the development of the right hemisphere on psychology was very interesting in the works of prof. E. L. Thorndike, R. F. Woodword, Albert Pottenberger from Columbia University and others.
It should be added that the script running from right to left, left handwriting, was used by Leonardo da Vinci in his own occult descriptions. With the greatest ease he used to write or paint and carve with the left hand. For a long time, the writings left by Leonardo were considered to be impossible to decipher. Only later did they come up with the idea of reading them in the mirror.