per·i·pa·tet·ic
ˌperēpəˈtedik/
adjective
  1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
    Aristotelian.
noun
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A to Z Blogging Challenge: H is for Hindbrain


Alligators in H2O at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

H is for Hindbrain

Hindbrain thinking isn't a hot topic, I'll wager. Everyone these days seems to know what left- and right-brain thinking are all about. You've probably seen that image of a dancer spinning around. Supposedly, if you see her spinning clockwise, you're more right-brain oriented, meaning that your imagination rules your thoughts. You're also more impetuous and not opposed to taking risks. Yes, I can see that. But thought can't be that simple. And the brain isn't political. It's not one side or the other.

The brain, after all, isn't composed of just two halves. It has other lobes, other parts which affect thought and reason. Here's a document that explains much better than I can what all the parts do for you and where they are located. Take that hindbrain, for instance. Pons, medulla, and cerebellum. Together, these structures keep us moving, staying upright, sleeping when it's time to do so, breathing, and carrying on all those other bodily functions necessary to life that we're not usually aware of, like digestion. So what about emotions and feelings of love, hate, aggression...?

You've probably watched that scene with Adam Sandler and the professor in The Waterboy:


Contrary to what the professor says about the medulla oblongata (maybe the waterboy was justified in tackling him), and according to medical experts, it's what's happening in the amygdala and limbic system that makes us happy, sad, or whatever. We're a bit more complicated than alligators and maybe more than what those experts claim.

If thinking isn't dominated by just one lobe or the other but comes from a combination of activities going on simultaneously throughout the brain, then writing must do the same. It should be as automatic as breathing, as hidden and mysterious as blood cell formation, as simple as sleeping, as complicated as playing the piano. Or acting the part of a hilariously funny, swamp-dwelling football player in a comedic film. How many alligators--or medical experts, for that matter--can do that?


Please see A to Z Blogging Challenge for links to more "H's" from Challenge sponsors and other writers.

8 comments:

  1. I never realize alligators brains were in their tails. Hmmm. Maybe I should stick with trying to understand Emerson. Science not so much... :)

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  2. Nice post! I keep forgeting which side of the brain rules what. Now I know why as a dancer I always had trouble with my spins to the left wheras the right was easy as pie.

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  3. My physician plays the piano.

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  4. I can see her going both ways (so to speak). What the hell does that mean?

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  5. Oh, goodness...I am really right brained all the way! It took me a few minutes of staring at her to see her spinning to the left. The characteristics of a right brained (more so) is all me!!! This was fun! I'm gonna send it to all my friends and see what they come up with! Thanks...this was a really informative post!

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  6. Nice to meet you through the A-Z challenge! Hope to see you around!

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  7. My morning brain science course. I see the dancer going one way and then abruptly shifting to the other. Are we sure that someone's not messing with our heads with this "test"?
    I do think the who brain and more is needed to get the complete picture of anything.

    Contrary to my usual practice of subscribing to comments, to save time during this early part of the challenge I will not be doing so at this time. If you want to respond to my comment, please email me directly from your email notification for the comment.
    Thanks. And I truly appreciate your efforts.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

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  8. Dear Walk2Write,
    thank you for those interesting informations! I looked up the link with the dancer and was astonished: with absolute regularity it changed after a time from right-dancing to left-dancing and vice versa - we made an experiment of that. So I am happy to use both sides seamingly in a balanced way :-)

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