What part of the brain controls analytical thinking?

In this article we are going to answer the question ‘’What part of the brain controls analytical thinking?’’ We will discover what part of the brain is responsible for analytical and logical thinking and how it does it.

What part of the brain controls analytical thinking?

The left hemisphere controls analytical thinking, in addition, it works together with other regions of the brain such as the cerebellum for this process.

It is well known that the brain consists of two halves or hemispheres connected to each other by an extensive bundle of nerve fibers called the corpus callosum. The left hemisphere manages analytical thinking while the right side is more inclined to intuition. The predominance of one over the other influences our personality and our way of acting.

Cerebral laterality refers to the different functioning of each of the hemispheres of the human brain. But this laterality is not total and both parties share many functions and collaborate and communicate with each other to perform each specific task well.

Analytical thinking is a type of thinking that involves reasoning and reflection on a certain situation or problem. We use it to decide what to do with a specific task or simply to reflect on something general.

It operates through the division of the object of study or problem into smaller parts that can be identified, categorized and analyzed, in order to obtain an answer or an adequate solution to what we want to solve.

When can we use analytical thinking? Practically always; not only when it comes to solving mathematical or scientific problems, but also in everyday life or even in other areas of knowledge. We can use it to make decisions, resolve conflicts, reflect on an issue, understand the nature of a problem, etc.

Thought as a human ability

Before proceeding further, remember that thought is all that activity of the human mind that is obtained thanks to the intellect. That is, it is the product of the process of thinking, or the process of the mind itself. Through thought, we obtain abstractions, reflections …

Cognitive theory, typical of psychology, allows dividing the different types of thinking into: critical, deductive, inductive, creative or lateral, intuitive thinking, etc. One of these types of thinking is the one that concerns us: analytical thinking.

Brain hemispheres: logical and creative

Verbal for the left hemisphere and emotional, visual or spatial for the right hemisphere. According to the left or right brain dominance theory of the brain, each side of the brain controls various types of thinking. Furthermore, people are said to prefer one type of thinking over the other.

For example, a person who is “left brain” is often said to be more logical, analytical, and objective, while a person who is “right-brain” is said to be more intuitive, thoughtful, and subjective.

The left hemisphere is the analytical part. It is the side of the brain that deals with words and numbers, looking for order and explanation for everything. When people have a highly dominant left brain, they have trouble with uncertainty and ambiguity, they like logic and what is 100% correct.

The left hemisphere of the brain is often described as being better at languages, logic, critical thinking, numbers, and reasoning. The left brain is the rational, intellectual one; it is the hemisphere that specializes in processing verbal and numerical information in a deductive or logical way.

This means that the left hemisphere dissects information through analysis and disaggregates the parts of the whole to process the information sequentially in a linear and orderly way.

How is the left hemisphere of the brain structured?

Like its right counterpart, the left hemisphere is anatomically structured in lobes, taking into account half of each of them. These lobes are the frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital, and insula.

As we have already mentioned, the corpus callosum, which is a structure with nerve fibers, connects both hemispheres to allow them to communicate. As with the other hemisphere, the left is protected by the following layers:

  • Dura mater: it is the outermost membrane and closest to the skull.
  • Arachnoid: it is between the dura mater and the pia mater.
  • Pia mater: it is the innermost membrane. It is contiguous with brain matter.

Main features

Anatomically both hemispheres are very similar. Although, as we have already mentioned, they are not symmetrical, they are very similar. They present both fissures and convolutions and both have the same number of lobes, in addition to being similar in size.

However, they have different attributes. The left hemisphere is known to be the brain structure in charge of the linguistic aspects, in addition to being behind the analytical processing, typical of mathematics. Let’s take a closer look at these features:

1. Symbolic

The left hemisphere is responsible for using symbols to represent both concepts and objects.

Thus, it is this hemisphere that allows us to understand that the symbol ‘+’ means adding something or more to it, or that the symbol ☮️ means peace.

2. Verbal

As we have already mentioned, the left hemisphere is the one that is involved in the use of verbalized language.

This means that it is the one behind such everyday and fundamental aspects of human communication as speech, verbal memory, writing and reading.

3. Analytical

When we say that this hemisphere is analytical, we mean that its information processing is done by following steps that follow one another more or less linearly, analyzing each of the details of a given situation or problem.

For this reason, the left hemisphere acquires such great importance in mathematics, in which, in order to reach the solution, it is necessary to identify the steps to follow in order to have the correct answer.

In addition, it is detailed and relatively objective when it comes to analyzing reality, allowing specific observations and formulating a specific thought, suitable for the problem situation.

4. Temporary

Follow the passage of time, that is, order things in temporal sequences. It goes from beginning to end.

5. Rational

The left cerebral hemisphere tends to enhance rational reasoning. That is, it allows abstracting an explanation of reality from reason.

6. Logical and linear

When it is said that the left hemisphere is logical, it means that it establishes causal relationships between different events. Thus, a phenomenon must necessarily be created by a prior or be responsible for a subsequent consequence.

This characteristic, together with the analytical aspect of this hemisphere, acquires great importance in solving mathematical problems.

Regarding the linear aspect, it comes to indicate that the ideas are always linked to each other.

Features

These are the main functions of the left brain hemisphere.

Verbal language and mathematics

Related to both its verbal and symbolic abilities, the left hemisphere is capable of identifying groups of letters and interpreting them as words that, in turn, form groups of them and form meaningful sentences.

Thanks to this, it also plays an important role in speech, writing, mathematical problem solving, numbering and logic.

Other aspects in which this hemisphere is significantly involved are verbal memory, grammar, organization of syntax, phonetic discrimination, planning, decision-making, long-term memory …

Expression and understanding

John Hughlins Jackson, a neurologist, said at the time that the left hemisphere was the center of the power of expression. This means that this hemisphere is in charge of transforming a set of information into something with meaning.

Thus, this hemisphere stores concepts that it will later emit in the form of words, both oral and written, allowing ideas from inside the mind to be transmitted from one person to another through the use of verbal communication.

If there is an embolism that affects this hemisphere, functional losses such as loss of speech can occur, in addition to affecting motor skills on the right side of the body, since the left hemisphere controls that half of the body.

Relationship between both halves of the brain

Although we have commented that each hemisphere has its peculiarities and has its own functions, this does not mean that they are radically different from each other or that they do not carry out activities together. 

What must be understood is that there are activities that are carried out mainly by one of the two hemispheres and others in which it is the task of its counterpart.

As a curiosity, the research points out that interhemispheric differences are something distinctive of the human species. 

In most people, both hemispheres complement each other. Normally, verbal aspects such as speech are under the control of the left hemisphere; however, there are cases, especially in left-handed people, in which speech is an activity exerted by areas located in both hemispheres.

In addition, it has been seen that, in situations in which a brain injury occurs, there may be changes in the location of certain functions. 

This ‘transfer’ of functions is especially significant in childhood, at which time, thanks to brain plasticity, the brain tries to ‘save’ its own capacity from the injured area by making it another area, and it may be from the opposite hemisphere, who becomes position.

FAQS: What part of the brain controls analytical thinking?

What part of the brain analyzes?

Occipital lobe: The lateral boundaries of the parietal and temporal lobes are delimited. It is interested in detecting and manipulating graphics. It processes and interprets what we see. To view and draw assumptions about visual images, the Occipital lobe analyzes factors such as form, colour, and movement.

Which lobes of brain are responsible for mathematical and analytical skills in an individual?

The left hemisphere is responsible for verbal language and linguistic ability, analytical skills, solving mathematical problems, as well as memory and logical and rational thinking. Specifically the temporal lobe, prefrontal region and parietal lobe.

Where does critical thinking happen in the brain?

The Prefrontal Cortex gives us the ability for our thoughts, emotional reactions, and actions to be considered and willingly controlled.

What part of the brain is responsible for rational thinking?

The left hemisphere of the brain is often described as being better at: languages, logic, critical thinking, numbers, and reasoning. The left brain is the rational, intellectual one, it is the hemisphere that specializes in processing verbal and numerical information in a deductive or logical way.

What keeps your brain in place?

Do activities that stimulate brain activity and keep us mentally active, such as reading, writing, memorizing phone numbers, playing board games, doing manual activities, completing crosswords, learning and practicing a new language, etc.

In this article we answered the question ‘’What part of the brain controls analytical thinking?’’ We discovered what part of the brain is responsible for analytical and logical thinking and how it does it.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know!

References

Anderson, B.; Rutledge, V. (1996). Age and hemisphere effects on dendritic structure. Brain. 119: 1983–1990.

Hutsler, J.; Galuske, R.A.W. (2003). Hemispheric asymmetries in cerebral cortical networks.Trends in Neurosciences. 26 (8): 429–435.

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