Dr. Paul A. Rodriguez Brain Specialization and Learning
The brain is able to perform unique functions particular to one hemisphere. In complex tasks, both hemispheres are engaged.
Left hemisphere processes external stimuli such as: speech , interprets words and evaluates material.
Right hemisphere processes internal messages by gathering information and looking for patterns.
Left Hemisphere Functions
Right Hemisphere Functions
Connected to right side of the body
Processes input in a sequential and analytical manner
Generates spoke n language
Does invariable and arithmetic operations
Specializes in recognizing words and numbers
Connected to the left side of the body
Processes input more holistically and abstractly
Interprets language through gestures, facial movements, emotions, and body language
Does relational and mathematical operations
Specializes in recognizing faces, places, objects, and music
The Gender Connection
Less gray matter than females , with more in left hemisphere than right .
Higher white matter than females, with the same in both hemispheres.
Cerebral spinal fluid is higher than in males.
Corpus callosum is smaller and thinner in females.
Language areas is located almost exclusively in left hemisphere.
Amygdala grows faster in teenage boys.
Hippocampus grows slower in teenage boys than in girls.
Gray matter is the same in both hemispheres.
Lower percentage of white matter than males.
Cerebral spinal fluid is lower than men.
Corpus callosum is larger and thicker than in males.
Language areas are in the left hemisphere.
Amygdala grows slower in teenage girls than in boys.
Hippocampus grows faster in teenage girls than in boys.
Possible Causes of Gender Differences
The Effects of Hormones influence brain development differently in the sexes. Example with testosterone and boys.
The Effects of Natural Selection have fostered structural changes in the brain that are specific to each gender.
The Impact of the Environment studies indicate that boys’ and girls’ acuity of senses do not develop identically in both genders.
The Empathizing Female and Systemizing Male according to Simon Baron-Cohen (2003) proposes that female brains are wired for empathy, and that male brains are wired for systemizing.
Schools and Hemispheric Preference
-Structured environments that run according to time schedules, favor facts and rules over patterns, and offer verbal instruction
Impact on Mathematics and Science
-Male and female brains deal differently with numbers and computation. Both boys and girls are on a level playing field.
Spoken Language Specialization
Learning Sounds Called Phonemes
The total number of phonemes in the world languages is around 90, which represents the maximum number of sounds that the human voice apparatus can create (Beatty, 2001).
Practice in speaking and adult correction helps children decode the mysteries of grammar’s irregularities. Prolonged television watching can impair the growth of young brains (Zimmerman & Christakis, 2005).
Learning Spoken Language
Language Delay to two years is inherited, and thus represents a distinct disorder not easily remedied by environmental interventions (Dale et al.,1998).
Implications are that the brain’s ability to acquire spoken language is at its peak in the early years, students benefit from a create a rich environment that includes lots of communication activities
Learning To Read
Is Reading a Natural Ability?
-No areas of the brain specializes in reading.
-Learning to read requires three neural systems:
Skills Involved in Reading
-Phonological and phonemic awareness
-Alphabetic principle and phonics
Problems in Learning to Read
-Differences in auditory and visual processing speeds