Almost anyone fate did not bestow great and continual success. Only the happiness that comes easily, is persistent and accompanied us to the end. Seneca the Younger (born Lucius Annaeus Seneca, called. Philosopher, 4 BC - 65 AD)

The brain test

The Brain Test

What Your Brain Says About How You Think and Learn

Rafal, you are Right-brained, which means that the right hemisphere of your brain is dominant over your left.

Typically, right-brained individuals like you are creative, imaginative, and particularly attuned to their surroundings, whether catching the nuances of music, discerning artistic elements, or noticing spatial relationships between different forms. We know this because researchers notice increased activity in the right hemisphere of the brain in individuals hooked up to monitors when they play music or ask them to complete a task involving spatial relationships.

In addition to isolating the ways in which your brain processes information, your right brain also controls the left side of your body. If you are strongly right-brained, you will find that your natural tendency is to be left-handed - though with some skills, you may find that you are right-handed if a right-handed person taught you how to complete a certain task.

Right-brained people tend to be seen as messier than others. It's not that you're necessarily disorganized, it's just that you are likely to have different systems of organization (by theme, by subject, by color) than straight alphabetization or rigidly ordered folders.

You probably have a willingness to entertain experimental treatments and Eastern philosophies more so than others. This is in part because those philosophies mesh with the right brain's strength - taking things in as a whole instead of focusing on the daily minutia.

Though thinking logically might be something you have to do sometimes, you are also good at stream of consciousness thinking and making tangential jumps in logic or reasoning. You are more intuitive than many. And when it comes to pleasure reading, you might have a stronger preference for creative or fiction writing than nonfiction.

For the most part, you think more in terms of symbolism and abstraction instead of things that are more practical and straightforward. You are also likely to look at the whole of a situation instead of seeing it as a series of component parts. You probably tend to be more subjective than objective, allowing for context to color how you interpret a given situation. For you, there are likely very few definites in life, other than the fact that there is almost always more than one way to accomplish and think about things.

That's how your brain processes information. And while your dominant brain hemisphere certainly contributes to the way you process information, there is also a style of learning, unrelated to your dominant hemisphere, that determines the ways in which you are best able to pick up information. When you're learning something new, your dominant brain hemisphere will want to take over. But there are times when the information being presented is not well suited to your dominant hemisphere's abilities.

That's why, in addition to your hemispheric dominance, you also have a style of learning that is dominant for you. Whether you know it or not, you are naturally predisposed to learning things visually, aurally, or through a combination of the two.

Your test results show that you are a visual learner.

Other right-brained people who are also visual learners are Albert Einstein, the painter Vincent Van Gogh, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. But before delving deeper into how you learn, you should get the basics of your brain's physiology.

The physiology of your brain

Your brain is made up of many different parts and is responsible for many different functions of your body. Because of this, it has adapted to be a very specialized organ. There are parts that control what you taste, what you feel, how you learn, how you think, and how you reason. All of this is so no one part gets overtaxed or worn out, and also so you can perform more than one task at a time.

Your brain stem controls your reflexes and involuntary functions such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion. Your cerebellum helps coordinate movement. Your hypothalamus controls body temperature and feeds behaviors like eating, drinking, aggression, and physical pleasure. Your cerebrum, or cerebral cortex, translates information transmitted from all of your sensing organs. It helps start motor functions, it controls emotions, and it is the center for all thinking, reasoning, learning, and memory. In short, it analyzes all information you feed to it.

The cerebral cortex is divided into two hemispheres. The left hemisphere is responsible for speech, controls the right side of your body, and serves as your logic and reasoning center. The right hemisphere governs your creativity and your athleticism among other things. In the past, people oversimplified this relationship.

People used to say if you were logical, you were definitely left-brained, and if you were creative, you were definitely right-brained. This is no longer the case. New research indicates that there's more flexibility when it comes to our gray matter. And if you know where your strengths and weaknesses lie, you can train your brain to become more organized, creative, or better able to process all sorts of information. Here's some general information on the differences between the left and right hemispheres.

Left hemisphere

There's more to your left hemisphere than analytical strength. Your left hemisphere is involved in linear analytical processes, including processing word meanings and symbols, interpreting facts, and much of your language production and reception.

When you look at a photograph or a painting, your left hemisphere is the one that orients on the logical, linear, and literal action in the picture, such as the storyline or the characters in the picture, as opposed to the more abstract or conceptual elements. Furthermore, when you hear a word, it is the left side that decodes that word's meaning, as opposed to something that word might remind you of. Overall, the left hemisphere is heavily involved in more reductionistic processes, such as breaking a picture into its constituent parts, as opposed to seeing it as a single and unified whole.

Right hemisphere

Similarly, the right hemisphere is not just the seat of intuition. Perhaps it is more intuitively oriented than the left, but in most cases it also identifies patterns and performs spatial analyses. This hemisphere tends to process information in non-linear ways, looking at the whole instead of all the parts that make it up.

When you look at a photograph or painting and notice the overall pattern or abstract contour of the image, it is your right hemisphere that is being activated. As another example, the right side looks at a spiral and sees a unified spiral pattern. Whereas the left side of your brain would see the series of lines making up the spiral and would interpret it in a holistic manner.

Take Action

Strengthening the left hemisphere: making the details count A strong left hemisphere gives one the ability to view a project, a problem, or a situation in an up-close, detailed, and linear way. In order to do so, it requires being able to get very involved in what you are doing, temporarily not paying explicit immediate attention to anything else in your life that may have to get done.

Make lists

One method of getting into the details is to outline what must be done. Converting something that seems like a giant, singular task into a series of smaller, bite-size chunks is an excellent way to not only engage one's left hemisphere, but also to overcome apparently impossible hurdles. It is important to remember that projects do not get done by themselves, but rather through slow and bit-by-bit progress, getting through what must be done. Learn to consciously relax

If your goal is to change the way you use your mind, then you are necessarily going to have to change the way you use your entire body. Before trying to get anything done, get yourself into a comfortable but unfamiliar frame of mind by doing something different with your body. Go for a walk, water some plants, make tea, do some exercise - anything that involves moving your body, and not just sitting and stewing over what you have to accomplish. While working, continue checking in with your body's relative level of tension or relaxation. A tense body leads to a tense mind, and a tense mind thinks in its old ways - how it is used to thinking. Verbalization after long periods of silence can also snap you out of your familiar funk - go someplace where you can stretch your mouth, vocal chords, and body, and stretch on out. The more physically flexible you focus upon being, the more mental flexibility you will find yourself capable of.

Pay attention to details

While out walking - to your car, the bus, work, or what have you - be sure to notice the details surrounding you. Where are you? The left hemisphere is all about details and linear thinking. Connect yourself to your immediate environment; are there flowers growing nearby? Is anyone walking their dog? Are other people smiling? There are many other things going on in the world while you are lost in thought or concerned about the presentation you have to give.

Another way to focus your mind upon details is to engage in mental gymnastics, such as trying to think of every prime number between 1 and 100 (1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11...). Such a process will get you to pay attention to the minute details since the focus of such an exercise is upon each and every individual number between 1 and 100. Alternately, you could recite the alphabet backwards, or count to 20 by adding 2 to each number and then subtracting 1, all the way (1, 3, 2, 4, 3, 5, 4, 6...). These sorts of mental exercises take familiar sequences of information - numbers, letters or what have you - and have you relate to them in an unfamiliar way, thereby ensuring that you see each element as distinct and individual.

Change your immediate environment

Another way of focusing upon details is changing something in your immediate environment. If you work from home, rearrange the room where you work. If you work elsewhere, try to beautify your workspace with little details that make you feel at ease. Add plants or something else that you find calming and enjoyable. You may not know it, but work and living space hugely affects the way you do things. Changing where you are offers you the opportunity to change how you think, as your mind will not have its familiar environment to cue it into its old ways of doing things.

Your world is made up of a wide variety of tiny, not-so-insignificant details. Strengthening the left hemisphere is all about focusing upon these details.

Strengthening the right hemisphere: don't drown in the details A strong right hemisphere, on the other hand, offers one the ability to zoom out and see the bigger picture. When you're drowning in the details, it is this ability to zoom out that will be your saving grace.

Again, learn to consciously relax

You will never be able to change your own mind until you can reliably learn to relax. Changing the way you think is no overnight process; it requires constant attention. Getting yourself into a relaxed state will make your mind more receptive to change, and thus you will find it much easier to cognitively re-train yourself. The suggestions for relaxation in the section on strengthening your left hemisphere apply here as well. Do yoga, go running, go for a walk, or even just stand up and do five minutes of stretching. Using caffeine is not highly recommended, since stimulants - especially coffee - actually end up making the muscles in your body tense up and your blood pressure slowly rise over the course of the day. Have your cup of coffee in the morning if you enjoy it, but try to drink plenty of water over the course of the day, as well. If you keep good fluids moving through your body, then your body will remain active and attentive throughout the day.

Keep the bigger picture in mind

When working through a problem, you are necessarily going to be dealing with a series of tiny details. Alternately, we have all, at one time or another, felt like a cog in a giant machine. The reality is that everyone has an important job to do, and everyone fits into the greater scheme in some way - but we all have a responsibility to realize how we fit in and to take an active role in that process. This is true regardless of whether we are discussing one project, someone's life at work in general, or someone's life as a whole.


Creative visualizations can help you in this process. Meditation is an excellent way to learn to view the world in a more holistic manner. Find a quiet, dimly lit room - preferably with no music on, but if you prefer feel free to put on something soft and soothing - and sit in a comfortable cross-legged or reclining position. Close your eyes, and just lie there, paying attention to your slow, smooth breathing for about twenty minutes. Do not get discouraged by the many thoughts bubbling up as you sit or lie there; that is perfectly normal. The longer your stay still, the longer the periods of mental silence will become. Allow thoughts to bubble up and wander away; simply pay attention. Let happen whatever happens. Slowly, your focus will shift to a unified whole, seeing yourself in the full context in which you are actually currently existing.

There are a wide variety of meditation techniques, and you might find it useful to study up on it in order to find the technique most suited to your taste and personality. Just remember that the point is to quiet the mind, since the mind's chatter is most likely the primary thing keeping you from holistically focusing on the world around you at any given time.

The right hemisphere's abilities are strengthened by allowing the right brain to flex itself. Your conscious mind needs to learn to allow your spatial and holistic, much more unconscious, right brain mind to do its work. Meditating and quieting the chatter in your mind is one reliable road to right hemispheric strength.

Attempt spatial rotation tasks

The right hemisphere is heavily involved in spatial tasks, as well as in holistic vision. Even games like Tetris can help strengthen our abilities to move objects around in space. Learn to imagine objects moving - perhaps while meditating - and see if you can imagine them rotating, so that you can see all sides of the object in question. Try this with simple objects, such as pieces of chalk or pencils at first. If you find it easy, move on to more complex objects, such as plates, tires, or glasses. See how long you can hold a clear image of an object in your mind. The meditative techniques described above can also help to improve these visualization abilities.

Learn to trust your mind

The bottom line about the right hemisphere is that, if you find yourself weak in right hemispheric abilities, it is probably because you have not learned to allow your right hemisphere to do its work. This is not to say that your right hemisphere does not function correctly - it is more likely that many of us are afraid of doing math because we became frightened off of it at a young age and never were encouraged to go back to it. Your mind has amazing abilities. The human brain is one of the most amazing and complex organs in nature. Learning to view the world in holistic, right brain ways is not necessarily easy, but it is very possible and can even ultimately be a relaxing and enjoyable process.

Learning styles

We are all different, and that applies to how we learn information, as well. Research has found that the two major categories of learners, are those who learn best in visual ways and those who work better in auditory ways. Your learning style is determined primarily by your brain - whether it relies more on your eyes or your ears to comprehend new data. Those who respond better to what they see are visual learners. Those who respond better to what they hear are auditory learners. Those who are equally as good at interpreting data that they see and hear are known as "balanced" learners. Balanced learners will recognize aspects of what they're good at in both the visual and auditory learning style descriptions.

Of course, everyone relies on their eyes at some times and their ears at others. But when faced with new information, the majority of people fall back on their dominant learning style. And as more is being studied about learning styles, some substyles are being identified, such as kinesthetic, the learning style that relies on learning by doing.


Visual learners focus on information their eyes pick up when trying to learn new information. They learn best when they rely on visual patterns because they prefer to "see" what they are learning more than "hear" what they are learning. They respond well to symbols, written words, images, diagrams, and photos. For this reason, they probably like to have a pen and paper around to take notes, to doodle in a meeting, or to try to synthesize other data. Drawings and pictorial representations often support the information they are receiving aurally and ultimately are what might anchor their knowledge to a given subject. Even if visual learners have printed material in front of them, they still might wish to take additional notes, to add marks to the paper in order to feel they are learning what they need to.

It's likely that visual learners prefer to write a phone number down and try to memorize the numbers on a page or the pattern they create when dialing instead of listening to the number and repeating it. They remember by writing things down and communicate well in this mode. Visual learners are often better at getting their points across through the written, more than the spoken word. This isn't to say they don't ever rely on their ears instead of their eyes. Of course there are numerous instances, which call for them to do so. All this really means is that they're predisposed to learning through their sight.

About 65% of people are visual learners.


Auditory learners tend to focus on auditory stimuli - things that they hear - when learning new information. They probably get a lot out of lectures and are able to process speeches quickly and accurately. In fact, readings might not make as much sense to them until they've heard a supporting lecture to emphasize the written word and they're more likely to listen to a lecture first and then take notes once they've processed the information.

Auditory learners probably prefer to speak someone's phone number out loud to memorize it than bother with writing it on a piece of paper they're going to lose anyway. They remember things by repeating them and probably prefer hearing instructions instead of wading through a written set of rules and directions. Auditory learners are better at making their points through talking rather than writing. This isn't to say they don't ever rely on their eyes instead of their ears. Of course there are numerous instances, which call for them to do so. All this really means is that they're predisposed to learning through hearing. This in part is what makes most auditory learners strong communicators, adept at socializing and communicating in face-to-face situations.

About 30% of people are auditory learners.


Kinesthetic learners tend to make choices based on touch and movement through space. They tend to learn best by imitation and practice. While kinesthetic is acknowledged as a viable type of learning, it has yet to be examined as extensively as auditory and visual learning. That said, it is an important style for you to understand as it is certain to gain more recognition beyond the educational community in years to come.

Most of us are predominantly kinesthetic learners as fairly young children. We then develop into visual or auditory learners as our nervous systems develop and grow over the course of our lifespans. It is thought that kinesthetic learners make up around 5% of the adult population. We do not delve further into the kinesthetic type in this test, but stay tuned for the Emode Learning Style test, coming soon!

About 5% of people are kinesthetic learners.

What these differences mean for you

As a predominantly visual learner, you likely find visual stimuli much more compelling and comprehensible than auditory stimuli. To varying degrees, visual learners tend to feel that if they can't see it, then they won't be able to properly synthesize it. You might feel a tenuous hold on information that is not presented visually. Might even attempt to turn auditory information into a visual cue you can use by taking notes, scribbling an image or a sign, or even writing down one word to trigger your memory on the subject at hand.

On the other hand, you probably feel quite comfortable when information, even complicated information, is presented to you visually. And because of that you are likely to feel less threatened by even more complex ideas presented in this manner than simpler ideas presented to you through verbal words or sounds.

The reality is that you don't always have control over how information is presented and how you must communicate with people. That is why understanding your learning style, how you learn best, will give you a leg up in today's information-rich world.

Visual learning is your strong suit; view it as such, as opposed to the only way in which you can learn. Auditory learning is not only another option, but it is often a necessary addition to one's cognitive landscape. If you feel you would like to broaden your auditory abilities, perhaps you could consider viewing the auditory process as a visual one. Visualize the words that are being spoken to you, or the words you would like to speak, as a start. That way, you can transition your mind into an auditory modality, and thereby vastly broaden your horizons.

Take Action

Strengthening visual learning

Want to strengthen your abilities to think and learn in visual ways? There are many ways to do so. One of the most straightforward methods is simply to try learning through visual methods like those outlined below.

Expose yourself to visual sources of information

If visual thinking and learning don't come naturally to you, it's likely that you avoid situations that would require you to learn from visual stimuli. Many people lean towards learning methods they prefer, and as such, further develop their already dominant method of learning.

To get your visual learning side up to speed, take notes at lectures, read books with lots of pictures in them, or use graphs and flow charts to learn - focus on strengthening your visual abilities.

Learn to communicate better through writing

Visual learners tend to be very good at written communication. If you need to speak with someone, write them an email instead of tracking them down on the phone or talking to them face-to-face. Like everything else in life, you won't get better at using your visual learning style unless you practice it. And the more you practice, the better you'll become and the more natural it will feel.

Be careful that you're truly trying to learn and communicate with clear written direction. Take time to make sure your email or note makes sense, that you are clearly and fully expressing your viewpoint. Understand that people can neither hear the tone of your voice nor can they see your body language or the expression on your face. Make sure your words communicate what you need them to.

Visualize what you want to do

Athletes are trained to see themselves hitting or throwing or kicking the ball where they want it to go. If there is something you want to achieve, try to visualize yourself achieving that end, as well as the steps required to get your there. Visualization is a powerful technique, and you might be surprised to discover how much you can achieve with its help.

Take information you know and relearn it visually

Auditory learners remember information when it is said to them. In order to strengthen your visual abilities, recreate the information you have learned in visual form. If you are an auditory individual, recite the information aloud to yourself, and then write it down as you recite it. Draw pictures if possible, use meaningful symbols in your notes - anything that you can do to offer yourself visual cues. Copy it into written form, and then copy it into written form again - the more times you can process it visually, the better you will learn the information, and the better you will learn to process information visually. When trying to recall information, try to see if you can call up the image of the notes that you took. If you cannot, do not worry. In time, it will come.

Want to strengthen your auditory abilities? It's as easy as simply listening and learning.

Take information you know and relearn it aurally

If you are a visual learner, take some information you already feel comfortable with and try to learn about it aurally. Find some notes, or an instruction manual, and recite it aloud to yourself. Focus on hearing the information instead of reading it. Then read it over again. The more you hear words spoken, the more you will connect to the sound of words and not simply how they look on paper.

Discuss important information or topics with others

Traditionally, auditory learners are very good at expressing themselves with the spoken word. If you're trying to improve your skills in this area, try discussing issues, events, and information with others whenever possible. If it makes you feel more comfortable, outline your perspectives and understandings on paper first. If you are a visual learner, then when someone responds to a point that you have made, try to imagine what it would look like written down, so that you may connect their spoken statement to a familiar visual cue. If possible, imagine a graph or chart that might describe the situation or problem at hand. But the bottom-line is that you have to get out there and engage people face-to-face. Sure, you have less time to think up an argument - but so do they. Face-to-face, everyone is on equal footing. Take your time in responding; there is no rush. And, most important of all, do not worry about always being right; being wrong, and making mistakes, can be the best learning experience of all. Don't give up, all it takes is practice.

Hear it

Whenever possible, try to turn some visual element into a series of words you can speak. If you see a graph, try to describe, in a few sentences, what the graph is illustrating. It will not only help you develop your auditory abilities, but you will find you will learn some aspect of the information that you may have previously ignored or missed.

If you can "hear" things that you see written down, then you will be well on your way to developing your auditory abilities. The more ways we can learn, the more potential we have as human beings and as individuals. The whole point is to become as flexible and capable as possible.