At my web site I’ve got a new picture of my ugly mug, recently taken by my friend and fellow storyteller, Simon Brooks. I’ve been heavily right-brained all my life, and it shows in my left eye. It’s always slightly larger and more alive than the other one, no matter how much I try to keep my right eye open to look passably normal.
The right hemisphere of the brain–the seat of imagery and intuition–is connected to the left eye via the optic chiasm. Ask any brain scientist. They’ll confirm it. Same thing with the left brain; it’s wired up to the right eye.
You’d think since I use language in my work, it would be the other way around, but nope, the imagery side remains dominant, so I’ve just lived with it since my twenties and worn sun glasses whenever possible.
Of course, in my approach to storytelling, there’s music happening. According to Wikipedia on the Neuroscience of Music, the music part is a bit more complex:
Motor sequencing has been explored in terms of either the ordering of individual movements, such as finger sequences for key presses, or the coordination of subcomponents of complex multi-joint movements. Implicated in this process are various cortical and sub-cortical regions, including the basal ganglia, the SMA and the pre-SMA, the cerebellum, and the premotor and prefrontal cortices, all involved in the production and learning of motor sequences but without explicit evidence of their specific contributions or interactions amongst one another. In animals, neurophysiological studies have demonstrated an interaction between the frontal cortex and the basal ganglia during the learning of movement sequences. Human neuroimaging studies have also emphasized the contribution of the basal ganglia for well-learned sequences.
So it looks as if they’re really not sure what’s going on, other than while creating and playing music, all these regions are firing away together in happy harmony.
I’ve been thinking about all this because coming up in a week, I’ll be doing it in public down in Cambridge, MA, for a return appearance at Grendel’s Den. ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS. Two 12-strings and a harp. Lots of language. Lots of music.
We’ll see how it all spins together this time.
As for my ugly mug, you needn’t worry. Half the audience listens with their eyes closed anyway.