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Emotions, Mixed Dominance and the Brain
By Craig Stellpflug NDC
Healing Pathways Medical Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ
Copyright 2009 Craig Stellpflug©.
Permission is herby granted to copy and distribute this article but only in its entirety
Emotions are a vital and important part of every human psyche and are expressed outwardly through such means as crying, laughing, fighting and fleeing. However, when a situation calls for a logical response and we respond with an emotional outburst instead, that inappropriate behavioral response is known as emotionality.
Emotionality is the state of being prone to or dominated by emotional responses when logical or more subtle responses are more appropriate, and emotionality can affect anyone at any stage of life. Inappropriate responses could include: emotional meltdowns to seemingly normal activities such as math or reading; exaggerated outbursts to even the slightest emotional crisis; immature responses to situations; and incorrect interpretation of normal social cues.
It should be noted that not all emotionality is caused by psychological conditions of mind or by chemical imbalances in the brain. Emotionality is quite often caused by neurodevelopment issues, which have a direct impact on the way the brain organizes and filters information.
Understanding Brain Organization
The brain is naturally divided into right and left hemispheres. The left side of the brain predominantly controls the right side of the body and the right side of the brain predominantly controls the left side of the body. So, neurologically, the right side of the brain controls the left eye, ear, hand, and foot, and the left side of the brain controls the right eye, ear, hand and foot.
In the right-handed person, the left hemisphere of the brain is the dominant hemisphere and contains fine motor skill functions that are usually indicated by eating, writing, throwing, hair brushing, etc., with the right hand. In the left-handed person, the right hemisphere will control the dominant left side of the body.
Within the brain, not only do its left and right hemispheres control lateral functions of the body, but each hemisphere also contains filters and storage centers for neurological processing. For example, in a right-handed person, the dominant left hemisphere normally houses logics while the subdominant right hemisphere contains emotions. The left hemisphere will contain language skills while the right contains music functions (this is why the stroke victim who cannot speak at all can usually sing). Some other processing functions that are normally located in the left hemisphere of the brain of the right-handed person are: mathematics, sense of time, distance, and fine motor skills. Other functions of the right hemisphere in this person are trivia, creativity, art, and spatial thinking without relation to time or distance.
Mixed Dominance - At the Heart of Emotionality
Mixed dominance can be found at the heart of many frequently misdiagnosed problems such as emotionality, ADHD, dyslexia, slow thinking, poor judgment, poor sense of time, distractibility, poor coordination and control of body parts, academic shortfalls, stuttering, inaccurate distance perception, and a host of other inefficiencies of the brain.
Neurological disorganization can occur when there is a ‘mix up’ between the dominant hemisphere of the brain and what is supposed to be the dominant eye, ear, hand or foot. Mixed dominance and neurological disorganization occur when a person will perform tasks such as writing, looking into a kaleidoscope, and kicking a ball using the dominant right side of the body, but will listen to the phone with the left ear, or turn their head to favor the left ear when listening intently. This person will process auditory information in the emotional-trivia sections of the right hemisphere, potentially causing emotionality, stuttering, and even letter and number reversals.
Mixed dominance is not limited to just the ears, but can occur in the eye, ear, hand, or foot, and in any combination. For example, a person expressing favored use of the right hand, ear, and foot - while also favoring the use of the left eye - may experience difficulty and emotionality while performing reading and math skills, and may even be diagnosed as dyslexic. This person will often bat or shoot left-handed while having difficulty making quick decisions in athletics; visual information is being processed through emotional filters rather than logical ones.
The mixed dominant person may additionally be accident-prone due to making emotional decisions rather than logical ones. The neurologically organized child, for example, would not typically chase after a runaway ball that has entered the street, whereas the mixed dominant child may be more concerned about winning the game (emotion) than he is about personal safety (logic).
There is a wide range of developmental and neurological difficulties that can be attributed to mixed dominance. The solution to emotionality, as well as other difficulties, is best pursued by identifying causes and correcting symptoms with specific developmental exercises and therapies. Just as you would organize a desk in a workplace, the solution to brain disorganization is to organize the brain.
For more on mixed dominance see the article, “Solutions for Dyslexia.” http://www.docstoc.com/docs/9008628/Solutions-for-dyslexia
Craig Stellpflug is a Neuro Development Consultant at Healing Pathways Medical Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ where he specializes in ADHD drug alternatives, Autism and other brain disorders, and traumatic brain injuries. For more information, call 480-699-7400 or visit HealingPathwaysMedical.com
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