Sunday, December 09, 2007

One eyed king

I don't know if there is any scientific base or any truth in this post or the previous. Luckily enough that doesn't matter. Since every conclusion based on a reasoning process will be tested anyway, whether the reasoning process is faulthy or not.

From my previous hodgepodge I distilled the following idea's:
The left hemisphere of the brain handles concepts, the right hemisphere handles chess intuition. Education is almost entirely aiming at the development of the left part of the brain. Once dominant, the left part supresses the right part.

That's why adults have problems with chess improvement. The left eye is connected to the right hemisphere. Right now I'm experimenting with problemsolving while looking only through the left eye. I prevent thinking and conceptual reasoning as much as possible. Allthough it is way too early to draw any conclusions, my rating at CTS soon boosted to 1550, while 1530 was the average I had when I quit exercising after a very long streak. It is a very weird way of exercising for me and it is quite unclear of that weirdness is benificial in any way. But then again, asking for usefulness is typical for a lefty:)


  1. I have long been fascinated the topics of your recent post and similar.

    Split Brain

    Alien Hand Syndrome

  2. The left eye is connected to the right hemisphere.

    This isn't quite right. The right part of the world, which is represented in the left part of the early sensory systems, comes in through both eyes. See this site for a good description of the anatomy of the visual system (the blue and orange lines).

    I thought of doing similar things, but it would actually either making glasses that block out half of the world, or (what I did), holding the problem far to the left, so that it only went to my right brain.

    Also, it is a little sketchy to make inferences from split-brain patients to normal patients, since our two hemispheres are connected via the dense connections in the corpus callosum. We have a study in our lab that shows when you tweak the right side of the rat's whiskers, you get responses in the right sensory cortex (paper here).

    That said, perhaps it would still help to do problems with one eye, but not because it is only going to one hemisphere.

  3. you continue to come up with interesting perspectives on chess (pun intended) :) would love to hear your conclusions once you finish your one-eyed exercises.

  4. Blue,
    I already had the feeling that the reality would be more complex. Since I can only read when the light falls on my FOVEA(tm), which is in the middle of my eye, it is hard to belief this would work at all. Yet it seems to make a difference when I look only through my left eye:

    The board looks simpler. Less crowded with pieces and idea's. When I look through both eyes again I'm overwhelmed by the added possibilities I see. This state of overwhelming costs me extra time or I drown in the added complexity.

    Another thing I noticed is that the repetitionrate of problems seems to be much higher. Does this mean I remember them better?

    So far it is hard to say if the results are real or that I delude myself. Time will tell.

  5. Chessaholic,
    there is nothing against some help:)

  6. tempo: I'm pretty intrigued by this so I think I'm going to experiment a little myself.

    just make sure you don't scare any little kids when you play your next tournament game with a pirate's eye patch :)

  7. Funny post, but I'm always interested in trying stuff like this out. Let me know if you guys see any real improvement!

  8. Arrrr! Avast ye scurvy knights! I too shall hoist myself up the yardarm with me patch over me dominant cranial portal!

  9. I used to visualize the solution to a problem three times. Once looking with left eye, once with right, and then again with both open. This was during my phase where I was playing around with the solution-oriented method. It was hard to visualize the full solution with one eye closed. It got much easier with both open.

    Even though one eye doesn't go to one side of the brain (see above), it does activate a lot less of the brain! My thinking at the time was that left along, right alone, then both would force some kind of integration of information. I have no idea if it worked, but it was fun.

  10. temposchlucker, most of all, this validates you as the chess blogger Grand Puba. nice going man. warmest, dk

    (BTW, i am left handed: big surprise?)

  11. Chessaholic,
    lol, good idea to scare those little punks.

  12. DK,
    I'm lefthanded too. Yet there must be something in what we differ:)

  13. When I was in junior high, our art teacher used a book called "Drawing with the Right Side of Your Brain." I forget the whole philosophy, but I would try and feel myself using the right hemisphere. Surprisingly, my drawing got better.

    Ah, I found a link to the book

    perhaps concepts used in this book could be applied to chess?

  14. This is very interesting idea. I have a form of dyslexia that is related to not having a dominant side. I showed no preference to a hand, and when given a choice my mother made me a righty. She was a lefty, as is my oldest sister. As I got older she felt I might have had less learning issues if I had been a lefty.

    My left eye is dominant which is highly unusual for a righty. I might have to try the one eyed study method. I'm not sure I could do it during a game. Argh!!! Time to have talk like a pirate day again!