Left Brain and Right Brain at Origami Training
by Katrin and Yuri Shumakov
"Functional interhemispheric asymmetry of the brain in dynamics of bimanual activity in children 7-11 years old during origami training" Ph.D. thesis by Katrin and Yuri Shumakov
Generalizing Literary Sources
Purpose, Subject, and Object
Conclusions and Recommendations
Here are some fragments from the Ph.D. thesis: Functional interhemispheric asymmetry of the brain in dynamics of bimanual activity in children 7-11 years old during origami training, Publishing house of the Rostov State University, 2000, 186 pp.
The all-round development of children is one of the major social tasks, which excites all civilized societies, because children are our future. Parents, teachers, psychologists, doctors and everyone want that children should be healthy, clever and creative.
The development of representations about the character of distinctions and features of interaction of the brain's hemispheres has fundamental meaning for understanding of mechanisms of the brain's control of psychical processes. For the last several decades, the problem of functional interhemispheric asymmetry of the brain became one of the central areas of study in psychology and adjacent isciplines.
Origins and the development of functional interhemispheric asymmetry of the brain in ontogenesis was of great interest to scientists (M. Annett, 1985; I.C. McManus, 1985; M.C. Corballis, 1998; L.F. Saugstad, 1998). A quote by the authors also specifies influence in the development of functional interhemispheric asymmetry on learning efficiency and presence of certain dynamics of functional interhemispheric asymmetry during training, including motor skills (P.N. Ermakov, 1988; R. Kawashima, 1994; U. Tan, 1993; M. Iacoboni, 1998), mark connection of interhemispheric specialization with creativeness (J.E. Bogen, G.M. Bogen, 1988; K.D.Hoppe, 1988; J. Levy, 1995; I.Carlsson, 2000).
Generalizing Literary Sources
Generalizing the literary sources allows noting that bimanual sensory-motor functions develop more slowly in comparison with similar unimanual, that is evidence of a big role of ripening interhemispheric communications.
The psychomotor development of children is closely connected to development of cognitive abilities. The perfection of motor function of the hand is the development of more and more fine and precise movements of the hands and also development of conditional-reflex movements with the diverse participation of fingers and palms. It involves the analysis and synthesis of activity of the brain of the child. Experimental data submitted in recent literature convincingly shows that the training of the fingers of a baby accelerates the process of the functional maturing of the brain. The degree of development of fine movements of the hands is correlated with the level of development of speech in children.
Analysis of the structural and functional features of motor function demonstrate that the motor system has extremely rich communication coinciding with all structures of the central nervous system and take part in their activity. Analysis of the impulses of the motor functions are integrated with pulses from other systems of the analysis in a uniform image, in primary, secondary, and later in tertiary associative zones of the cortex of the brain. The essence of integration of motor impulses is that they promote activation of associative zones. In the development of any movements, which represent a result of interaction of various structures of the brain, the frontal parts play a dominant role. Told gives a reason to assume that the motor analyzer has a special value in development of activity of the brain.
At early stages of development of the child, both hands work together and the movements are bilateral. At about 18 months of age one hand becomes more passive in comparison with another. There is a problem of handedness, and the training of one of the hands considerably influences the further cerebral lateralization. In the process of development and perfection the function of one of the hands in an opposing hemisphere, it receives an increasing quantity of pulses. That hemisphere, which receives more pulses, becomes dominant. The training of movements of fingers of both hands really is a basis for bilateral development of the brain and advances intellectual development. The certain degree of a bilateralization can provide the large flexibility of cognitive processes.
The plasticity of a child's brain and minimal domination of one hemisphere above another in childhood is very favorable ground for development of both halves of the brain, for development of strategy of interaction of both hemispheres revealing abilities of the right and left hemispheres. It is known that the ability of logical thinking, number skills, reading, reasoning, speech, and scientific ability is connected to activity of the left hemisphere. Functions of the right hemisphere - insight, three-dimensional perception (recognition), sensitivity to art, imagination, musical and art abilities. Activation and revealing abilities of the right and left hemispheres in childhood (when the brain has its greatest plasticity) will aid the child's mental development, more fully using mental resources.
The age of 7-11 years is the most intensive period in development of bimanual coordination. This period is characterized sensitivity for development of such motor qualities as the speed, accuracy and flexibility of movements' coordination. Successful bimanual learning and the realization of bimanual activity is connected to active work of both hemispheres of a head brain and their close interaction: activation of numerous cortical areas of the left and right hemispheres, activation of sensory-motor zones and additional motor areas, calloused and noncalloused commisures.
In the period of the most intensive development of bimanual coordination, in 7-11 years old bimanual learning can become a good background for development of psychomotor abilities of both hands. At the same time, the given stage ontogenesis is described as time of the further formation of functional bi-hemispheric organization of a brain, specialization of cortical zones and increase of an opportunity of their interaction and high plasticity of brain organization.
A priority of interhemispheric interaction in successful cognitive activity also is shown at many researches. There is revealed, that for the decision of creative tasks it is characteristic not only high activity of the right creative hemisphere, but also strong interaction of cortical structures of the right (creative) and left (logical) hemispheres.
Thus, the creation of conditions of intensive interaction of hemispheres by means of asymmetrical bimanual activity must be reflected on success of cognitive and creative activity. The younger school age is sated the most of a game and motor activity, is sensitive for formation of ability to purposeful activity, for development of creative abilities. It is the enough important period, which in many aspects will determined the further development of the man. At the same time, in primary school there is the sharp shortage of organization of timely development of creativeness, logical thinking, assiduity, exactness, succession and diligence.
Origami as asymmetrical bimanual activity and the visual-spatial activity with a high emotional and productive orientation represents a good basis of a psychomotor training for increase of interhemispheric interaction and development psychomotor, intellectual and creative abilities.
Thus, functional interhemispheric asymmetry, psychomotor, intellectual and creative parameters in dynamics of bimanual activity at children of 7-11 years old during the origami training were not a subject of special researches till now. While the preconditions revealed in the analyzed literature allow making this theme by a subject of special research.
Purpose, Object, and Subject
The purpose of the research is the study of functional interhemispheric asymmetry during dynamics of bimanual activity at children 7-11 years old during mastering of basis origami techniques.
The object of the research is functional interhemispheric asymmetry and psychomotor, intellectual and creative parameters at children 7-11 years old during dynamics of bimanual activity in origami training.
The subject of the research is children 7-11 years, pupils of the Rostov comprehensive schools who were taking an intensive origami course during a week vacation in the absence of other educational subjects (25 hours: everyday 5 educational hours for 5 days). None of them had origami skills prior to the beginning of the research. Children were divided into 4 age groups: 7-8 years (1st grade), 8-9 years (2nd grade), 9-10 years (3rd grade) and 10-11 years (5th grade). In total 137 children participated in the research, from which there are 67 boys and 70 girls.
1. The origami training stimulating high motor activity with simultaneous use of the right and left hands will render different influences on the activity of the brain's hemispheres of children from different sex-age groups.
2. The motor skills of both hands and their asymmetry will change during dynamics of training with respect to the real cerebral lateralization type of children.
3. The asymmetrical bimanual activity during origami training influences the individual - psychological features of children of different sexual-age groups. The prevalence of the left hemisphere is reflected in verbal abilities (speed of verbal thinking), and prevalence right hemisphere is reflected on nonverbal abilities (nonverbal intelligence, spatial imagination).
4. The asymmetrical bimanual activity during origami training will affect the creativity of children of different age groups and will stimulate development of creativeness.
purpose and the hypotheses of the research have defined the concrete tasks:
1. To study the parameters of functional interhemispheric asymmetry in children 7-11 years old in the dynamics of bimanual activity during origami training.
2. To investigate the maximal rate of movement of hands and ability to judge by eye during the dynamics of origami training in children with a different type of cerebral lateralization.
3. To study the characteristics of verbal thinking during dynamics of the training of origami and their specificity for children with a different type of cerebral lateralization.
4. To study nonverbal intelligence during dynamics of the origami training in children of various age groups with a different individual structure of cerebral lateralization.
5. To investigate sexual - age features of spatial imagination during dynamics of the training of origami in children with a different individual structure of cerebral lateralization.
6. To study the characteristics of creativeness and imagination during dynamics of the training of origami in children with a different individual structure of cerebral lateralization.
7. To study the degree of development of bimanual motor actions in children 7-11 years old that result in the mastering of origami, and also to correlate this degree to psycho-physiological and psychological features of children.
The methodological and theoretical preconditions of the research:
- rules about the system approach to the analysis of brain mechanisms of mental functions (Luria A.R.);
- situation that functional interhemispheric asymmetry as the fundamental law of work of a brain determines the characteristics of mental condition, feature of activity, including at training (A.R. Luria, E.G. Simernitchkaya, E.D. Homskaya, D.A. Faber, B.S. Kotik, P.N. Ermakov etc.);
- concept about multilevel system of construction of movements (N.A. Bershtein);
- representations about the sensitive periods in development of bimanual coordination (P.H. Wolff, D.A.Faber etc.);
- representations that the performance of asymmetrical bimanual actions is accompanied by higher interhemispheric interaction, than performance of unimanual actions (A.R.Luria, J.Brinkman, G.W.Goerres, L.Jancke);
- representations about dynamics of mutual interhemispheric relation at different stages of formation of motor skill (F.G.Andres, S.P.Swinnen, P.N. Ermakov etc.);
- regulations about high plasticity of brain organization in early ontogenesis (A.R. Luria, E.G. Simernitchkaya, D.A. Faber etc.);
- representation about the sensitive periods of younger school age for formation of ability to long purposeful activity and for development of creative potential (J. Piaget, A. Wallon, S.W. Russ etc.);
- representations about importance of interhemispheric integration for successful cognitive activity (M.P. Bryden, B.S. Kotik, D.A. Faber, R.Cabeza, L.Nyberg etc.);
- representations about connection of interhemispheric specialization with creativeness (J.E.Bogen, G.M. Bogen, K.D. Hoppe, J. Levy etc.).
The research was carried out in four stages: first, third and fourth were psycho-diagnostic testings, second was forming experiment consisting in intensive training of children to origami skills. The average interaction with one child was lasted about 30 hours.
In research were applied the hardware techniques (study Skin-Galvanic Reaction of the right and left hand, gaploscopia), test techniques (test on definition of an individual structure of functional interhemispheric asymmetry, tapping-test of E.P. Ilyayn, test of E.P. Torrance " Choice of the side", Raven progressive matrixes, "Interpretation of pictures" test by J. Guilford, "Addition of figure" test by Barron, test for definition of ability to judge by eye) and expert estimation of development of the origami program and level of display of creative abilities in origami, made by the teacher and independent expert - origami teacher.
The reliability of the received results was provided with a variety of diagnostic procedures, amount of children, the processing of the received data was carried out by standard mathematical methods.
1. Parameters of functional interhemispheric asymmetry in dynamics of asymmetrical bimanual activity at children 7-11 years old during the origami training were investigated for the first time.
2. Features of interhemispheric organization at children most successfully mastering origami were revealed for the first time.
3. The characteristics of nonverbal intelligence, verbal thinking and creativeness were investigated in dynamics of asymmetrical bimanual activity at the origami training for the first time.
4. For the first time was experimentally proved that the origami training based on asymmetrical bimanual activity creates conditions of intensive interaction of hemispheres and allows effectively to develop motor abilities of both hands, intellectual and creative abilities at children 7-11 years.
1. According to the results of the research, we have established that the training of origami basing on asymmetrical bimanual activity causes intensive interaction of brain hemispheres and allows effectively developing motor, intellectual and creative abilities at children 7-11 years old.
2. We have found that the parameters of brain asymmetry varied during the all week training that can specify amplification of interhemispheric interaction. However, the most significant changes of parameters of brain asymmetry occurred in the middle of the training, it can be caused by specificity of gaining of bimanual skill. After the training, in the 7-8 years old children group for the girls was noticed general growth of parameters of right asymmetry, for the boys was observed growth of parameters of left asymmetry; in the other groups of 8-9, 9-10 and 10-11 years old the tendency was contrary.
3. The motor activity of both hands was developed in dynamics of the origami training at children 7-11 years, and, its greatest development was marked in the middle of the training. With age the development of motor activity of the right hand was increased, and for left hand was decreased. The boys since 8-9 years old surpassed the girls in unimanual actions of the right and left hands, whereas the characteristics of movement of the left hand up to the origami training were higher at the girls of all age groups. In the younger group of children 7-8 years old was observed increase of right asymmetry of motor activity of hands, in other age groups the asymmetry grew basically in a direction of the left hemisphere.
We have observed that in the motor skills of the right and left hands at the girls there is the tendency to the lower parameters of asymmetry than at the boys. Bimanual learning appears by most successful at 8-9- years old children. The girls of 7-11 years old had the best high-speed and precise characteristics of bimanual coordination, independently of a level of origami mastering.
4. The results have revealed close interrelation of development of motor activity of both hands at the origami training with development of intellectual and creative abilities in children 7-11 years old at the same time. Successful bimanual learning correlates with the greatest increase of nonverbal and verbal abilities. The interrelation of the bimanual learning and nonverbal intelligence is revealed: the high parameters of nonverbal intelligence positively correlate with the progressive assimilation of the origami program in the period 7-10 years old.
Since 9-10 years, good bimanual learning is connected to growth of figurativeness and dimensions of imagination. We report that nonverbal intelligence, spatial imagination, an ability to judge by eye, nonverbal and verbal creativeness, verbal thinking are improved considerably during the intensive origami training in all age groups.
The results indicated the sexual and age differences in dynamics of activity of hemispheres during the origami training. In age groups 7-8 and 8-9 years at the girls the greater growth of parameters of the nonverbal characteristics was found, and at the boys the greater growth of the verbal characteristics is noticed; at 9-10 and 10-11 years old the tendency varies contrary. The groups of 7-8 and 9-10 years age were characterized by the greatest activity of the right and left hemispheres, by high development of spatial imagination, by simultaneous display of verbal and nonverbal creativeness. The same ages groups showedthe prevailing of the right-brain strategy of thinking (more creative) at the boys and left-brain strategy of thinking (more logical) at the girls. In age groups of 8-9 and 10-11 years, the boys showed the increase of left-brain strategy of thinking, and the girls showed the right-brain strategy and the combined strategy of thinking. It is interesting that two average groups of children 8-9 and 9-10 years old are characterized by the greatest development of motor, intellectual and creative abilities.
5. According to the received data, the parameters of brain asymmetry in dynamics of purposeful bimanual activity at the origami training are interconnected to individual - psychological features of children 7-11 years. The prevalence of the left hemisphere is reflected in increasing of verbal abilities (the parameter of speed of thinking), and the prevalence of the right hemisphere is reflected on increasing nonverbal abilities (the parameters of nonverbal intelligence, spatial imagination, and nonverbal creativeness).
6. The findings showed that among investigated children 7-11 years old were prevailed children with right-hand preference and mixed lateralization of sensory-motor attributes. The girls prevailed among right-hand children in all age groups. Among left-hand children there were more boys. Perhaps one of the most dramatic finding was a reduction of preference of the left hand in household operations in process of growing up, and at the same time was noticed the increase right-hand preference in aggregate of sensory-motor attributes. So, lesser use of the left hand will send the lesser quantity of impulses to the right hemisphere.
7. The findings suggest that children with the mixed lateralization of sensory-motor attributes showed the most successful bimanual coordination and good origami doing. This fact can be connected to the wide interaction of both hemispheres at people with the mixed lateralization. Children with this lateralization also showed the best nonverbal intelligence, spatial imagination, and creative abilities in verbal and nonverbal spheres.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Our findings allow recommending the origami training for practical using for development of motor, intellectual and creative abilities of children, and also for practical using at realization of psycho-therapeutic and psycho-correctional works with the young schoolboys.
Successful mastering of origami as the indicator of good bimanual coordination can be one of attributes of good interhemispheric interaction. The origami-test revealing ability of the child to repeat step by step folding of simple model can be used by the psychologists as a component in an estimation of interhemispheric interaction.
Dynamics of activity of hemispheres was investigated at bimanual activity during origami learning. For the first time was experimentally proved that the origami training based on asymmetrical bimanual activity creates conditions of intensive interaction of hemispheres and allows effectively to develop motor abilities of both hands, intellectual and creative abilities at children 7-11 years.
The received new experimental data can find application in scientific psychological, psychophysiological and pedagogical researches, in methodical work, and also in practical work of the psychologists, physiologist, educators, and physician, those who are not indifferent to development of children. Thus, the results of the carried out research confirm the put forward hypotheses and open new prospects in study of the given problem.
Above are the fragments from the Ph.D. thesis: Shumakova E.R. Functional interhemispheric asymmetry of a brain in dynamics of bimanual activity at children 7-11 years old at origami training, Publishing house of the Rostov State University, 2000, 186 pp.
(note Shumakova E.R. is Katrin Shumakov)
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