According to Iain McGilchrist, who has explained the way we use the two different cerebral hemispheres, first of all the signals and sensations which we pick up are passed to the right hemisphere which we use to get an overall, holistic, “analogue” understanding of the world. Then we pass some of the information to the left hemisphere which is terrific at homing in on just some aspects of what we’ve picked up. We use the left hemisphere to “abstract”, analyse and categorise what we have received. If the right hemisphere view is analogue and holistic, then the left is digital and reductionist.
What should happen next is that the left passes back to the right what it has processed so the right can deepen its understanding – now understanding both the overall and the particular.
The overview, the “view from on high”, and the extracted, abstracted, reduced view, seem like opposites, and in many ways they are, but we have this incredible brain which lets us process in both of these opposite ways at one and the same time. We are capable of holding the general and the particular in our minds at the same time.
Iain says we have developed a tendency to think that the view from the left is the “correct” view, and “enough” and is so doing we failing to use our whole brains….we are failing to see the whole picture.