Thursday, June 19, 2008


Several years ago, at a time when my eyes can still perceive details, I used to like drawing portraits very much. However, I am not an artist who can draw life portraits from life human models, rather I draw portraits from pictures. Among the portraits I drew were those of artists (most of them female) such as Fauziah Latiff, Haleeda and Gillian Anderson of X-Files. I also drew the portrait of myself and one of my chess teammate during my time at the Matriculation Centre, IIUM.

I once learned that art, like drawing portraits and painting, involves the right side of the brain, while logical thinking and calculating invokes activities at the left side of the brain. Thus, a question can be raised - which side of the brain a chess player use? Actually, a study has found that chess activates both side of the brain. "Imagine yourself as a chess player about to checkmate your opponent," Grafman said in describing the work of the brain. "All your knowledge and experience are being retrieved for your next move. First, you perceive the pieces on the board and mentally separate the colour-coded pieces. Then you analyze their positions on the board, identify the value of the different pieces, and retrieve the rules of the game for any move. If you are a skilled player like the 10 subjects in this study, you also recognize specific patterns that signify when you have an advantage over your opponent. Finally you have to analyze the consequences of your potential moves and the countermoves of your opponent."

The Functions of the Brain

Here are the differences between the characteristics of both sides of our brain. And here is a test to determine which side of the brain we use more than the other.

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