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  • Bryce Gruber

    Right brain or left? Here's what this Facebook image test really says about your brain.


    You've probably seen those catchy brain-testing images circulating Facebook in the last few weeks suggesting they have the ability to determine your brain's strengths. Here's what they really mean.

    Look at the image below and then scroll to see what the Facebook community thinks the image your mind caught really means.

    Image via Facebook

    The first picture you will show the most requested hemisphere.
    Look at the picture quickly. Which animal did you see first?
    The head of a tiger:
    The left hemisphere of your brain is more active than the right. You are an analytical person, very focused on the success of your goals and organized. When you face a problem, you tend to be logic, calculator and objective.
    However, sometimes you think too much about the decisions you make, checking that they are correct, which makes you tend to be firm. Remember that a little humility will help you help away.
    Your personality features are as follows:
    Organized: You do all your things in a planned way, like you have a bucket list.
    Accurate: You have fixed goals and you know the way to achieve them.
    Lucid: Emotions and feelings don't prevent you from reaching your goals.
    Logic: You have good skills for mathematics, science and organization of ideas.
    Realistic: Your world is very real. There is no room for fairy tales and fiction. And anyway, although your goals may seem to be high for others, you know they are real and doable.
    Hanging monkey:
    The right hemisphere of your brain is very active. You are a creative person who has a lot of innovative ideas. When you face a difficult situation, you rather trust your intuition (you're almost always right) instead of resting on critical thinking. You know perfectly well that every step you take in your life is a lesson for you and that even if you lose, it means that you are moving towards the success of your goals. For you, travel is more important than the goal. As you are a dreamer, you often get lost in your own paradise. For you, it's essential to keep your feet on Earth from time to time, realize the reality and pay a little more attention to the world around you.
    Your personality features are as follows:
    Impulsive: You do things in a spontaneous way. You have the ability to see everything in a different way compared to other people.
    Sensitive: You worry a lot about everything. You spend a lot of time thinking and acting based on your feelings.
    Creative and artistic: You are an expert in music, art and other creative disciplines.
    Intuitive: You don't list the tasks to do and you don't respect the rules. You solve problems in an intuitive way.
    Dreamer: You have dreams instead of having goals, and you give the best of you to achieve them, and generally, it's a success.

    Remember that the two hemispheres of the brain don't work in an insulated way, they work together and complete each other. So, although it looks like you have more features from one of the hemispheres, you may also have features from the other hemisphere.
    So, what did you see first? The tiger's head or the hanging monkey? Do your personality traits match the descriptions given?

    For starters, you might not have even seen a monkey or a tiger at first. Facebook commenters reported sights like upside-down women's legs, apple trees, caligraphy, and a variety of other squint-worthy images.

    Did your result match your perceived sense of self and offer some level of accuracy? Dr. Gail Saltz, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine and host of the “Personology” podcast from iHeart Media, cautions against taking these predictive tests too seriously. "A test which purports to have you look at something abstract and associate to what you see, is trying to be some sort of projective test. This is a method of examining a persons' conscious and unconscious thoughts as it is based on what the individual is thinking both in and out of their own awareness. Answers need to be interpreted by a person who understands the test taker and the psychological implications of their answers. Because of that, I do not think these online tests have much meaning on their own. "

    And when it comes to the left and right side of the brain theories? Dr. Saltz thinks those are a bit of an overreach, too. "Right vs left-brained is really more of a lay term, not a clinical term. There is so much variability brain to brain, it is not as though anyone can be only one sided. But that being said, for a whole host of reasons neurologically, a person may have strengths and potential that runs along a particular area -- such as analytic or artistic or highly creative, original, and innovative," she explains. "But it’s not based only on one side of the brain. For example, creativity and imaginative thought is highly dependent of the default network of the brain which runs through multiple areas and structures."

    According to Science Daily, "Neuroscientists who are skeptical of this right brain vs left brain idea have argued that there is not enough evidence to support this idea and an ability as complex as human creativity must draw on vast swaths of both hemispheres. A new brain-imaging study out of Drexel University's Creativity Research Lab sheds light on this controversy by studying the brain activity of jazz guitarists during improvisation," the article begins, leading to a possible connection between the brain hemispheres theory being truly accurate. "The study, which was recently published in the journal NeuroImage, showed that creativity is, in fact, driven primarily by the right hemisphere in musicians who are comparatively inexperienced at improvisation. However, musicians who are highly experienced at improvisation rely primarily on their left hemisphere. This suggests that creativity is a 'right-brain ability' when a person deals with an unfamiliar situation but that creativity draws on well-learned, left-hemisphere routines when a person is experienced at the task."

    While this monkey-tiger brain test may seem like it's just as valid as any already-famous Rorschach test, or the ever-popular what-color-is-this-dress debate, it seems there are just too many contributing factors to accurately determine which side of the brain was dominant in making your ultimate decision. We'll have to keep taking these quirky online tests on their entertainment value alone -- at least for now.

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