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Left/Right Brain Switching

weather: cloudy
outside: 9°C
mood: fascinated
Because fazia always posts the most fascinating things.

Control of our brain switches sides, apparently. Says Dr. Pettigrew in Australia.

His test is quite simple (it's available online in that article): Draw three dots to form the points of an isosceles or equilateral triangle. If you stare at one of those points, you'll notice that eventually the other two points will disappear. Then they reappear. Have someone time you for 30 seconds while you stare at one of those points. On a piece of scrap paper, make a check mark every time you see the two peripheral points reappear. It's called Bonneh's Illusion, after Yoram Bonneh.

Every time the two peripheral points reappear is when the control of your brain switches back. The rate at which you switch is theoretically indicative of the skills you're good at. It can also be controlled with training. Buddhist Monks can apparently make the dots disappear for hundreds of seconds at a time.

What's exciting to me, though, is that I noticed this before I was 10 that I could stare at something and make everything else turn white or disappear around it. And I knew that if I held my eyes reallyreally still, the white haze would stay as long as my eyes didn't move and I didn't blink. It was a game that I never told anyone about (I WAS AN ONLY CHILD, UH-KAY?). This could be why sometimes I got reprimanded for "daydreaming" or "staring off into space". I think I did try to tell others about it but I didn't explain it well and no one knew what I was talking about, I was laughed at, told I was stupid, etc.

For me, the two dots fade very very slowly and they will reappear every time I twitched or moved my eyes. So, I'm not sure if I counted the dot reappearances correctly. If I waited until the other dots completely disappeared, then I only get 2 switches in 30 seconds (like Mathematicians). If I didn't wait, I just counted it when they became bright again, I get 5 switches (4-6 is the Average Joe rate; 6+ is the Dancer/Musician rate).

I'm decent in Math, but not fantastic. I can keep up with senior undergraduate level Math curricula (which is nowhere near "being a Mathematician"), but I think I'd struggle going any further.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 26th, 2004 03:55 pm (UTC)
What's exciting to me, though, is that I noticed this before I was 10 that I could stare at something and make everything else turn white or disappear around it.

lol, i used to do this too ... the other game i would play is to draw out the sometimes odd figures/caricatures on walls that i would see too.

i got six the first time around ... are we allowed to blink? took it again the second time and got 8.

nifty and interesting.
Mar. 26th, 2004 04:05 pm (UTC)
I think you are allowed to blink, I saw other people blinking. But if I blink the dots all reappear, so I'm not sure if they're reappearing because of the brain switch.
Mar. 26th, 2004 04:13 pm (UTC)
okay, maybe I'm not counting right.... because I got 23.

I still do that game with my eyes, btw. And sometimes, if I stare at a picture for a very long time without blinking it will give me the illusion of movement. Small movements like smiles and blinks and things.
Mar. 26th, 2004 06:50 pm (UTC)
Wow, 23! Maybe you're über-talented =)
Mar. 26th, 2004 04:29 pm (UTC)
Way cool. Coolest thing today :)

I used to do something like this and stare at nothing and I'd notice that the world was dimming as a child and I thought I was conditioning my mind into looking into the spirit world! (I was a kid, ok? :)

Neat to see a concrete example of something like that. Also fun how depending on how hard you concentrate and breathing and similar things it seems to affect the beat of the disappearing/appearing
Mar. 26th, 2004 06:38 pm (UTC)
I thought I was conditioning my mind into looking into the spirit world!

Hee, I like that one =) It _was_ a bit spooky, but intriguing at the same time =)
Mar. 26th, 2004 07:09 pm (UTC)
Hehehe, spooooookkkkyyy it sure is... I loved the illusion... It was like discoving a secret power! Wow, the mind has more control over our perceptions than can be easily believed!!! :)
Mar. 26th, 2004 05:54 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm confused. The other dots only disappear for me one at a time... are they both supposed to disappear together?
Mar. 26th, 2004 06:28 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the large yellow dots and the small yellow dot in the centre fade together for me.
Mar. 26th, 2004 08:03 pm (UTC)
Hmm. 11 times.
Mar. 27th, 2004 02:19 pm (UTC)
What can I say? I have talented friends =)
Mar. 27th, 2004 01:05 am (UTC)
I don't think that was just an only child thing - I did that too! :)
Mar. 27th, 2004 02:19 pm (UTC)
You too?! XD =D =D
Mar. 27th, 2004 11:01 pm (UTC)
i didn't see there if they measured the variance of period of disapearing/reappearing. it whould be more convincing (for me) if those moments were separated by exactly the same time periods for the same person (at least within a short period of time when they measured). and the desired (i.e. best) result for a person should be the ability to knowingly control that period (in both directions).
Mar. 27th, 2004 11:29 pm (UTC)
That's an interesting thought. I'm pretty sure I do have some degree of control. I know I can sort of make the dots disappear longer if I tried. And to speed up the switches, I'd just blink or move my eyes a little. I don't know if I could get exactly X number in Y seconds though.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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