Saturday, February 25, 2012

What I learned in med school 2: Our two brain hemispheres

So I touched on this topic a little on the previous post but I thought I'd expand on it. Our two lovely brain hemispheres are like twins with completely different personalities - this is commonly known as lateralization of brain function. Much research has been done to localize certain behaviors or actions in our brains so I'm not making this up, I promise.
So before I start distinguishing between the two hemis, I want to introduce you to the corpus callosum. It is basically a collection of axons which connect the two different sides of the brain. That's why we can function smoothly and in coordination - because the two sides are in constant communication with each other. If the corpus callosum is dissected, people will have what is called "split-brain" syndrome (I'll post on that next time).
So your left side/hemisphere is the mathematician, statistician, lawyer, linguist, etc. It deals with reasoning, logic, critical thinking, and numbers. Furthermore, it houses Broca's and Wernicke's areas which are our language centers. Wernicke's area is where we interpret and understand what people are saying to us, what we are reading etc. Basically any language input has to go through the wernicke's area for us to understand it. On the other hand, Broca's area is our motor or output center for language. Our language production, whether it be in the form of speech, writing, sign language etc is processed by the Broca's area.
The right side of your Brain is the musician, the artist, the chef, the photographer etc. It houses our imaginative, creative, and expressive side. Colors, images, recognizing faces, intuition, etc are governed by the right side of the brain. I like thinking of our right hemisphere as our wild side because your interpretation of the abstract world or understanding of art can not be defined by formulas or equations.
So there you have it folks. I hope this post was not too long. Believe me, this is as brief as I could be! But I'll leave you with one question: Which one of your hemispheres is dominant?

Picture courtesy of Mercedes

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I learned in med school 1: We breath one nostril at a time

So guess what guys? We breath one nostril at a time. Take a minute now to close one nostril and breath through the other and vice-versa. You will notice how one side is much more open than the other. So our body incredibly has a 3-4 hour cycle of switching between the two nostrils. Our tissues on either side will swell up periodically and allow the other side to be the main breather.
It is really interesting because research has shown that depending on which side you are breathing, your brain activity differs as well. Breathing through the right nostril will make the left side of the brain more active. The left side of the brains is the more logical, analytic, calculative, reasoning side. And breathing through the left nostril will make the right side of your brain more active. The right side of your brain is the more creative and imaginative side.
So I learned this a couple of weeks ago and found it so interesting and wanted to share.
And it's kind of crazy because I've also found about about people who purposely block one nostril depending on what side of the brain they want to get more active. I wouldn't recommend that. I think our body knows when to use what side and it will probably facilitate the use of either side when you need it. Well, at least I hope it does.
Ciao till later!

Picture courtesy of


So.... I disappeared off the face of this earth once I started school. It was a tide that swept me away. I really didn't expect medical school to be this difficult. Well, difficult may not be an adequate term but the amount of information we are required to absorb in such a short time is impossible. To truly grasp a context or understand the true meaning of something takes some time and hard work. But the field we are in does not allow us that "luxury." It is very rigorous and tiring.
Don't get me wrong. I am absolutely grateful to be given this opportunity and to be pursuing my life long dream. And in the moments I feel overwhelmed and absolutely exhausted with a pile of work still left, I remind myself of why I chose medicine in the first place.
Anyway, I've been thinking of how I can keep up with this blog. I really want to post regularly with fresh and informative information and something about my life here. So I will try to incorporate my education to these posts.
While in school, there have been some diseases and conditions that have really shocked me or that I found so interesting. Or even functions of our body that we are not aware of. So from now on, I will be posting a series of information titled: What I learned in medical school. I hope whoever is reading out there will find this info helpful!