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Evaluation of hemispherical dominance/brain lateralization among health professionals in andhra pradesh: a cross sectional study

Author: 
Dr. Viswanath, V., Viswa Chaitanya Chandu, Suresh Chand Yaddanapalli and Bhanu Kiran Ghanta
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Introduction: Human brain often is envisioned as the most intricate structure in the universe. About 150 years ago, scientists realized that the two sides of the human brain, right and left, are different in magnitude, anatomy, and their areas of strength which is commonly termed as hemispheric specialization or brain lateralization. It has been hypothesized that left brained individuals are more verbal, linear, rational, logical, and analytical in their thinking, while right brained individuals are more intuitive, creative, non verbal. In today’s world, it is important to develop ‘Whole brain thinking’, that is the capability to be a right brain thinker in situations that require creativity, intuition and to be a left brain thinker when the scenario demands logic and rationality. Objective: To understand the general hemispheric dominance and the consequent traits of budding health professionals from three different backgrounds with respect to their nature and scope of practice. Methodology: A pretested, self administered questionnaire with 40 questions was used to assess the hemispheric dominance among students from three different health professions namely dentistry, nursing, and pharmacy, studying in relatively homogenous area with respect to geography and socioeconomic conditions. Descriptive statistics, Mann-Whitney U test, Kruskal Wallis ANOVA, Chi-square tests were used to analyse the data. Results: There were no significant differences in the mean left brain and right brain scores between students from different health professions. Though mean right brain scores were found to be lower compared to mean left brain scores, this difference was not statistically significant. There were no gender differences in the mean left and right brain scores as well. Conclusion: In view of the challenging nature of health profession and the role these professionals have to assume in future, it is important for these professionals to develop whole brain thinking, and necessary strategies have to be integrated in the health care curriculum.

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