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
- Reminds me of The Collector's Fallacy.
- Thinking about the standard design of having a list to the left and the content of the highlighted list item to the right.
- 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?
- If you apply drugs to your knowledge work session: Wine, coffee or both?
- How to adapt workflows to left- or rightdominant modes?
- How to create incentives to encourage the brain to use the correct balance of the hemispheres.
Iain McGilchrist (2009): The Master and his Emissary. The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World, Totton: Yale University Press. p. 53. ↩︎
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