ERIC Number: ED214172
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Hemispheric Relationships in Composing: An EEG Study.
Glassner, Benjamin M.
The left hemisphere of the brain is analytic and "particularistic" in orientation--focusing on individual elements within a field and analyzing them sequentially. The right hemisphere of the brain is holistic or relational in processing, and is predisposed to see wholes simultaneously. One of the most prominant features of the EEG is the asymmetry between amplitude levels of matched sites in the left and right hemispheres. In a recent hemispheric study, bilateral temporal lobe EEG recordings were obtained for each of 24 college students during four consecutive writing tasks. This was followed by a questionnaire designed to elicit accounts of the students' thoughts, feelings, and operations during each composing process. Results indicated no direct relationship between the assignments and relative shifts in hemispheric engagement. However, a marked difference was indicated between male and female subjects, with women far more likely to engage their right hemispheres. Findings also suggested that extensive composing--aimed at reporting what is already formulated and available in memory, focused on communication and the surface features of texts and more direct and linear in its subprocesses--appears to be chiefly a left-brained activity. Reflexive composing, which is slower and more complex and is focused on discovering and on the active construction of meaning through language, appears to involve a proportionately higher degree of right brain activity. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (33rd, San Francisco, CA, March 18-20, 1982).