Difference between the Left and Right Side of the Brain

Updated on February 24, 2018

Have you ever wondered about the brain and why it has two sides? It might look like there’s nothing to it like having a left arm and a right arm, but in truth, each side has its own uses. You have probably even heard of the phrases right-brained or right-brain thinker, left-brained or left-brain thinker, but what does it actually mean?


Left and Right Brain’s functionality

Left Side of the Brain – also called the left hemisphere, it functions dominantly in respect of an individual’s language and logic (mathematics and science). It analyzes information that is collected from the right hemisphere, and then applies language to it. Take a house and an individual for example, the right hemisphere will ‘see’ the house but the left hemisphere will think it through and tell you “that’s the house I used to live in” or “that’s Uncle John’s house”. This simply implies that it’s not the physical aspect of the house your left brain will notice, but rather ‘whose is it’ or ‘what type is it’.

Aside from logical and language functionality, the left side of the brain also controls the muscles on the right side of the body. This would mean that if a person has an injury on the left side of his/her brain, it will most likely affect the right side of the body. They will also tend to be more depressed, be unable to solve complex problems or do a complex activity, have organizational issues and may have problems with using language.

So simply put, the left hemisphere of the brain has the functions of analytic thought, logic, reasoning, science and math, writing, language, and right side of the body control.

Right Side of the Brain – also called the right hemisphere, it governs the creative and artistic characteristics of an individual. Unlike the left hemisphere, it is intuitive and uses images rather than words. A good example of the right hemisphere at work is giving directions. One would rather say something like, “Go east three blocks and turn right on Elm Street. Three miles ahead you will reach your destination”, but when the right hemisphere is at work, one would say, “Go left (pointing) by the store over there (pointing), and then pass McDonalds and you’ll reach your destination just beside Walmart”. This implies that it focuses more on imagery than verbal abilities.

Aside from the artistry and creativity of the right side of the brain, it also coordinates the left side of the body. This would mean that activities done by the left part of your body will mostly be the doing of  the right side of your brain.

So simply put, the right hemisphere of the brain has the functions of creativity, imagination, intuition, artistry, imagery, insight, holistic thought, music awareness, and control of the left side of the body.

Left Side vs Right Side of the Brain

What’s the difference between the left side and the right side of the brain? Aside from their positions in your skull, they function differently and affect different parts of the body.

A brain is made up of two halves and these are your right and left hemispheres. The left takes control of the logical reasoning of an individual, while the right gives priority to the creative side. This simply means that the left side of the brain would be responsible for an individual’s mathematical, science, calculation, and language capability, while the right side of the brain would be responsible for one’s creativity, intuition, and artistry. In terms of body control, the right hemisphere takes control of the left part of the body and the left takes control of the right.

Note: The phrase “left-brained” and “right-brained” is actually a myth and not true, according to researchers. Quoting neuroscientist Dr. Jeff Anderson:

It’s absolutely true that some brain functions occur in one or the other side of the brain. Language tends to be on the left, attention more on the right. But people don’t tend to have a stronger left- or right-sided brain network”

Comparison Chart

Left Side of the BrainRight Side of the Brain
Controls the right side of the bodyControls the left side of the body
Responsible for one’s reasoning, language, and analytic thoughtResponsible for one’s creativity, imagination, insight and intuition
Logical (math, science etc.)Artistic (music, images etc.)
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