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关于左右脑的迷思

The left brain vs. right brain myth - Elizabeth Waters

Behold the human brain,
仔细看人类的大脑
it’s lumpy landscape visibly split into a left and right side.
很明显能看到它分成左右两个区块
This structure has inspired one of the most pervasive ideas about the brain,
这个结构促成了一个有关大脑的 广为流传的说法
that the left side controls logic
那就是左脑负责逻辑
and the right, creativity.
右脑负责创意
And yet, this is a myth unsupported by scientific evidence.
这个谜题尚未得到科学证据的支撑
So how did this misleading idea come about,
因此这个误导性的说法是如何产生的呢?
and what does it get wrong?
有什么错误呢?
It’s true that the brain has a right and a left side.
大脑确实分为左和右两个部分
This is most apparent with the outer layer, or the cortex.
这在大脑外部或者大脑皮层是最清晰可见的
Internal regions, like the striatum,
内部结构
hypothalamus,
例如纹状体下丘脑
thalamus,
丘脑
and brain stem
和脑干
appear to be made from continuous tissue,
似乎都是由连续不断的组织组成
but in fact, they’re also organized with left and right sides.
然而事实上 它们也由左和右两部分构成
The left and the right sides of the brain do control different body functions,
大脑的左右两部分确实分管不同的身体功能
such as movement and sight.
例如行动和视觉
The brain’s right side controls the motion of the left arm and leg and vice versa.
右脑控制左臂和左腿的运动 反之亦然
The visual system is even more complex.
视觉系统则要复杂很多
Each eye has a left and right visual field.
每一只眼睛都具有左和右两个视觉区
Both left visual fields are sent to the right side of the brain,
两个左视觉区的信息都传送到右脑
and both right fields are sent to the left side.
两个右视觉区的信息则由左脑处理
So the brain uses both sides to make a complete image of the world.
因此大脑使用两个部分 才能看到一个完整的世界
Scientists don’t know for sure why we have that crossing over.
科学家不知道为什么我们会如此关联
One theory is it began soon after animals developed more complex nervous systems
一个理论是在动物进化出更复杂的神经系统不久后产生
because it gave the survival advantage of quicker reflexes.
因为这给了快速反应的生存优势
If an animal sees a predator coming from its left side,
如果一个动物看到捕食者从左侧接近
it’s best off escaping to the right.
最好是向右逃脱
So we can say that vision and movement control are two systems
因为我们说视觉和行动管理是两个系统
that rely on this left-right structure,
都依附于这个左右结构
but problems arise when we over-extend that idea to logic and creativity.
但是当我们将此想法拓展到逻辑和创意就出问题了
This misconception began in the mid-1800s
这个谬误始于19世纪中叶
when two neurologists, Broca and Wernicke,
当Broca 和 Wernicke 两位神经病学家
examined patients who had problems communicating due to injuries.
诊查因受伤而产生沟通问题的病人之时
The researchers found damage to the patients’ left temporal lobes,
研究人员发现这些病人左颞叶受损
so they suggested that language is controlled by the left side of the brain.
因此他们认为语言由左脑控制
That captured the popular imagination.
这激发了大众的想象力
Author Robert Louis Stevenson
作家罗伯特·路易斯·史蒂文森
then introduced the idea of a logical left hemisphere
介绍有关控制逻辑的左半脑
competing with an emotional right hemisphere
与掌管情绪的右半脑一决高下的理念
represented by his characters Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
并由杰克尔医生和海德先生两个角色来呈现
But this idea didn’t hold up when doctors and scientists
但是当医生和科学家检查那些失去半脑
examined patients who were missing a hemisphere
或者大脑两个部分无任何连接的病人时
or had their two hemispheres separated.
这个想法无法得到验证
These patients showed a complete range of behaviors,
这些病人有着各种行为举止
both logical and creative.
既有逻辑的又有创意的
Later research showed that one side of the brain is more active than the other
之后的研究表明 对于某些功能而言
for some functions.
大脑中一部分会比另一部分更为活跃
Language is more localized to the left
语言更多集中在左脑
and attention to the right.
注意力则在右脑
So one side of the brain may do more work,
因此大脑的其中一部分会承担更多的工作
but this varies by system rather than by person.
但是这些不确定性是根据系统的不同
There isn’t any evidence to suggest
而不是人没有任何证据能表明
that individuals have dominant sides of the brain,
我们大脑有主导的一部分
or to support the idea of a left-right split
或者左右半脑
between logic and creativity.
分管逻辑和创意的说法
Some people may be particularly logical or creative,
有些人可能极有逻辑性或者创造力
but that has nothing to do with the sides of their brains.
但是这和他们大脑的左右部分无关
And even the idea of logic and creativity being at odds with each other
即便逻辑和创意之间存在矛盾的观点
doesn’t hold up well.
也无法得到支持
Solving complex math problems requires inspired creativity
解决复杂数学问题需要具有灵感的创造力
and many vibrant works of art have intricate logical frameworks.
很多富有生命力的艺术作品也需要复杂的逻辑框架
Almost every feat of creativity and logic
几乎每一个创意和逻辑的创举
carries the mark of the whole brain functioning as one.
都需要全脑像一个整体来运转才能完成

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