Monday, February 04, 2008

Language on the Mirror Side of the Brain...

Language on the Mirror Side of the Brain

We have two sides of the brain that work together but which do different things. In an adult brain, the left side usually handles language, while the right side handles the more concrete tasks such as judgement and intuition. You could say that the left brain is the speaker, while the right side is the singer or the left side is the scientist, while the right side is the artist. Yet, these differences have not always been there. The brain changes. In early childhood, language has been found on both sides of the brain. The two sides are like mirror images of one another.

Then what happened to change this? Although not completely understood, there is one fact that stands out. The change begins when the bridge between the two sides matures. This to 11. During this time the person becomes either a left-handed person or a right-handed person. The person develops what is called a "dominant hand" and a "dominant hemisphere" at the same time--the two are linked. So this is why, when a person has a stroke on the left side of their brain, they usually loose their speech and the use of their right hand at the same time.

But a person learns to talk before they have become right or left-handed. A person learns to talk before they can read, write or do math. So in order to retrain language, we have to employ a technique that goes back to a time before the use of specialized language. We have to use the other hand to access language from early childhood and to develop that new link or channel in the brain.

We have two eyes, two ears, two hands and they are all used in learning and expressing various forms of language. When one eye goes blind, the other becomes stronger, to take over the function of the lost eye. When a person is blind, they can use their finger tips to "see" and read braille. When a person is deaf, they use their hands to sign and speak. The hand is the link. It is the most trainable organ we have--except perhaps the tongue (which is no coincidence). We have two sides of the brain and two language centers, with one of them becoming more or less inactive as we mature. Now, can we use the alternate hand to teach the mirror side of the brain to talk? The answer to this question will lead us to a whole new approach to speech recovery.

We need to make the alternate hand the "new dominant hand" so that this hand can become stronger, more coordinated and "articulate". With this new dominant hand a whole new range of options opens for the stroke survivor. First, a greater facility in dealing with the physical problems and limitations involved with stroke. Of more importance for left hemisphere stroke survivors, is the possible development of new spontaneous speech, even after years of unsuccessful attempts in speech therapy. The techniques I developed to train the new dominant hand are designed into each kit and program and are explained in the guide, "Pathway to Recovery". A new publication, "The Sensory Trigger: Talking on the Right Side of the Brain", explains the research and scientific theory behind the method and illustrates the new pathways in the brain.


interesting... give it a READ

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