The human brain is home to all thoughts, emotions, functions, behaviors and the knowledge that comprises all our understanding. It is the control station for our body analyzing and processing all that we do. This paper will elaborate on the functions of the right and left cerebral hemispheres; as well as depth and 3 dimensional perceptions. The Intricate Functions of the Human brain Noted scientist and biochemist Doctor Isaac Asimov said that “as far as we know the human brain is the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the universe.” Weighing a mere 3 pounds (Looy, 1990), the adult brain is made up of approximately 100 billion neurons, or brain cells (Elert, n.d.), each of which is connected to perhaps 10 thousand other neurons via nerve fibers called dendrites and axons (Looy, 1990).
The brain is the most remarkable and intricate organ of the human body. It is able to process one million bits of information per second (Campbell, 2002-2009); and its speed, storage capacity and multitasking capabilities surpass the ability of any super computer. This amazing instrument controls and regulates every system and function of the human body (Looy, 1990). The human brain is divided into two separate regions; these are called the left and right cerebral hemispheres. Within these hemispheres the totality of human thought processing and storage occurs. Though these cerebral globes work and operate in tandem, each side also has certain elected functions and set ways of processing information (Riedl, 2002).
In order for the process of complex information and for the coordination of movement to take place both sides of the brain must be able to work and communicate together. This is made possible through the corpus callosum. It is the primary connective passageway of the brain and is located in its very center. It encompasses over two hundred million nerve strands that connect the left and right hemisphere (NODCC, 2006).
The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and manages linguistic awareness. It enables the capabilities of speech, reading, planning, organizing, writing, spelling, communication, memory, and verbal intelligence, as well as logical and coherent thinking. It also controls certain expansions of information processing such as diagnostic reasoning, typing capability, grammar skills, logic ability and math acuity. This side of the brain is cognitive in nature and focuses on the detail oriented parts of reality (Bancroft, 1998-2007).
The right hemisphere facilitates the functions of the left side of the body and regulates the unconscious perception. It allows for the ability of analogic thought, ocular thinking, feelings, rhythm, movement, constructive thinking and the creation of new ideas. It also enables individuals to remember people, things and events. This side of the brain is intuitive and equipped with the capability to envision the entire system of things rather than just its underlying parts (Riedl, 2002).
Both sensation and perception are associated with the way in which we as humans process information; although closely related sensation and perception are very distinct from one another (AllPsych Online, 1999-2003). Sensation is the reception of information through our five senses; while perception is the way this information is interpreted (Audiblox, n.d.). Perception is the process that interprets the information gathered by our senses into information that is understandable (Foley, 2008). The ability to judge distances and perceive three-dimensional space is made possible by the brains gathering and processing of visual and mental cues. The brain dynamically chooses, collates, and assimilates information gathered from various sensory sources to construct an image of the objects or actions we observe (Coon, 1989).
There are certain perceptual constancies that the brain uses when processing visual information. Size constancy pertains to the reality that our concept of the size of objects is quite constant, even though the object may appear to grow larger or smaller, depending on our distance from it (Krantz, 1999). Shape constancy is our ability to perceive the actual shape of an object despite our angle of view (York University, n.d.). Brightness constancy is the faculty to perceive objects as having the same brightness even if changing light or shadow may alter the way the eye sees them (The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2009).
In order to recognize and distinguish distance and three dimensional spaces a range of visual cues blend simultaneously. Visual cues can be defined as components of our surroundings combined with communication from the human body that works to provide the required information needed for the recognition of distance and space. It is important to note that some of the cues that will be mentioned in the following paragraph are designed to work with only one eye while others necessitate the use of both eyes (Eldora New Providence High School, n.d.).
Some of these cues are: (1) Accommodation. This cue enables the bending of the lens in the eye when it seeks to focus on objects that are nearby. These muscular contractions equip us with the ability to distinguish distances that are set within an estimated radius of 4 feet. This is a monocular cue which means that this ability does not necessarily take the participation of both eyes it may be achieved with only one eyes as well. (2) Convergence.
This is the ability of the eyes to turn inward. This happens when we focus on objects that are within a range of 50 feet or less. Whereas, when we look at something far away the focus of the eyes are parallel. This requires both eyes which is call a binocular cue. (3) Retinal disparity. This is a binocular cue as well. Because both eyes are spaced approximately 2.5 inches apart this enables us to obtain, to a small degree, two different views of an object thus allowing us to see 3 dimensionally when the brain combines these images (Eldora New Providence High School, n.d.).
The brain is an astounding and remarkable organ. An illustration of its unique and unfathomable ability would be in the instance that if one lost or damaged an eye the brain has the ability to compensate for the loss by using different and separate avenues that would not normally be used in individuals who are able to use both eyes; thus enabling them to perceive depth and three dimensional spaces (Dennison, 2005).
AllPsych Online. (1999-2003) Psychology 101 – Sensation and Perception. Retrieved January 12, 2008, from AllPsych.com Website: http://www.learninginfo.org