In this extraordinary video, Iain McGilchrist describes the real differences between the left and right halves of the human brain. It’s not simply “emotion on the right, reason on the left,” but something far more complex and interesting. Before McGilchrist became a psychiatrist, he was a literary scholar — and his work on the brain is shaped by a deep questioning of the role of art and culture. His recent book The Master and His Emissary explores the nature of the brain’s two hemispheres (the right is the “master,” in McGilchrist’s terms). How have our two hemispheres evolved to relate — and how did their relationship create our consciousness, our culture, and our ability to understand our own brains?

About 2 minutes into the video, there is a wonderful explanation about the difference between single-pointed attention (narrow focus) and broad attention (broad focus). In addition to the depth and clarity of McGilchrist’s ideas, the animation is superb, not only keeping the viewer’s interest, but using wonderful visuals to help support McGilchrist’s explanations. In the end, McGilchrist reveals his bias:

“We have created a society that honors the servant but has forgotten the gift”



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