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McGilchrist on passion for collecting and organising

I once had a patient with schizophrenia who arranged and rearranged symmetrical structures of carefully collected commercial packaging: the resultant 'sculptures' filled his living room. On one occasion, after he had spent the weekend at his flat, I asked him how he had got on. He replied dryly: 'I moved some things to the right' - a response that has considerable interest in the view of the left hemisphere's strong bias to attend to the right space, and disattend to the left (there is an asymmetry of hemispheric function in schizphrenia, with an abnormal but overactive left hemisphere compared with the right). The passion for collecting and organising is seen in other conditions, of course, including Asperger's syndrome, which also shows right-hemisphere deficits.1

Some thoughts

  1. Reminds me of The Collector's Fallacy. :)
  2. Thinking about the standard design of having a list to the left and the content of the highlighted list item to the right.
  3. How do visual environments (seems fancy and just "app" would be better. However, apps are customisable, split screen is a possiblity, etc.) engage the brain regarding its lateralisation?
  4. If you apply drugs to your knowledge work session: Wine, coffee or both?
  5. How to adapt workflows to left- or rightdominant modes?
  6. How to create incentives to encourage the brain to use the correct balance of the hemispheres.

  1. Iain McGilchrist (2009): The Master and his Emissary. The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World, Totton: Yale University Press. p. 53. ↩︎

I am a Zettler

Comments

  • Some thoughts

    1. I was looking at some website templates yesterday. I was perusing templates with a left side list and the right side where the content would be. Suddenly, a couple of templates reversed the side the list was on, and I noticed I had a vague feeling of 'not rightness,' and I couldn't put my finger on it at first. Now I understand, I've been diagnosed as schizophrenic. :wink:
    2. Left or right dominant modes of spacial use are likely rooted in cultural upbringing or pathology, as McGilchirch points out.
    3. Adapting workflows to optimize spacial modes reminds me of David Kirsh's The Intelligent Use of Space

    Will Simpson
    I'm a Zettelnant.
    Research: Attention Horizon, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing
    kestrelcreek.com

  • I am a bit intimidated by your reference about schizophrenia. My understanding of psychology isn't that elaborate so i might end up saying something stupid.

    (1): reminds me of the boiling frog metaphor

    (2,3) If it helps, I know that you are supposed to take care that your design works from left to right equally well as from right to left. This is because some user are reading text from left to right and for this reason, what's on the left side feels intuitively right for them. For an international market it is important to place things on the "right" side which may not be the one you're siding with (cough, cough, Arabic). I think this is much more important for (3) than brain lateralization.

    In regards to (4), just make sure you don't need to undo any progress after the effect of those drugs. Personally, i think this topic is dangerously close to burn out syndrome. I realize this is not a constructive opinion, though.

    (5): user preferences: adaptive design, theme options both global and workspace specific
    (6): you may want to consider a more pragmatic approach for (3)? I'm afraid you are shooting yourself in the leg when trying to form habits on some random user. If it is actually effective he/she wouldn't appreciate it. Being stubborn is a customers no. one priority!

    my first Zettel uid: 202008120915

  • on second thought, one of the most effective performance optimization for a GUI is mouse travel.

    my first Zettel uid: 202008120915

  • I'll add this totally non-scientific way to determine which side of your brain is dominant.
    What color are the shoe and lace?

    If the right brain is dominant, you see pink and white.
    If the left brain is dominant, you see green and gray.

    I see green and gray all the time. My wife, an artist, sees pink and white, but she can also see green and gray when she pays bills or other computer-based operations. Which I find fascinating.

  • @Steve625 said:
    I'll add this totally non-scientific way to determine which side of your brain is dominant.
    What color are the shoe and lace?

    If the right brain is dominant, you see pink and white.
    If the left brain is dominant, you see green and gray.

    I see green and gray all the time. My wife, an artist, sees pink and white, but she can also see green and gray when she pays bills or other computer-based operations. Which I find fascinating.

    I feel the mechanism of seeing the color is mysterious. One example is Benham Disk.

    When Benham Disk rotates, e.g. this gif on reddit, I can see orange and green color on the plate. The disk itself only has black and white color.

    I am interested to test myself if somehow I am in an emotional state
    to see the color again.

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