Why does the human brain consist of two hemispheres?
Scientists have long known that the cerebral hemispheres perform various functions. For example, the left is responsible for language and speech, while the right is responsible for emotions and face recognition.
This division of functions is quite real and differs from the extremely popular myth that the right and left hemispheres are responsible for the analytical and artistic makings of people, respectively.
In a new survey published on April 19 in the journal Neuron, the researchers described in detail why such a brain design is beneficial for humans.
Why do we need two hemispheres?
One of the advantages of such a brain construction is a clear “separation of duties” that allows you to do work more efficiently. That is, when one particular part of the brain is responsible for language and speech, it is not surprising that people learn these skills so well.
We can become speakers, writers, poets, polyglots and linguists thanks to the fact that our brain has developed two separate hemispheres.
In addition, such a narrow specialization of the brain can facilitate it to perform a variety of different functions at once, simultaneously.
In other words, if a certain part of the brain is responsible for a certain function, then another part can freely take up the execution of another. This may allow the brain to manipulate and perform “tasks” more effectively.
Also, the division of the brain into two hemispheres contributes to a better development of cognitive abilities.
For example, as a result of the research, scientists came to the conclusion that parallel processing of data by both hemispheres (words in one, emotions in the other) is beneficial for developing cognitive skills, including IQ and conscious reading.
In addition, another study concluded that brain asymmetry may also affect other aspects of human behavior and activity, which are also asymmetric. For example, most people on the planet are either right-handed or left-handed, ambidexters are quite rare.
Not only humans have two hemispheres.
Just a few decades ago, scientists believed that the asymmetric nature of the brain is unique to humans, but this assumption was wrong.
Such thinking began to change as early as the 1970s, when several studies showed that this structure of the brain distinguishes not only humans, but also some animals, birds, and even insects. For example, brain asymmetry occurs in finches, rats, chickens, and honeybees.
A recent study showed that similar brain development and asymmetry in behavior are also found in some invertebrates, such as worms and slugs.
However, the research conducted is not enough to exactly unravel the tight tangle of mysteries of our brain.