Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The "face" of HICP teaching

Clip art: Clker
Several earlier posts have looked at the question of the relative emotional loading of various points or quadrants in the visual field. (See the recent vowel color and intonation posts, for example.) This 1992 study of the effect of corresponding left or right brain lesions by Fedio of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke suggested another interesting perspective on why that might be: the right hemisphere area (connected to the left eye) is primarily responsible for determining and monitoring emotional state. The left hemisphere area, by contrast, is tasked with dealing with "the rest" of the incoming and outgoing data, so to speak.

That would explain, in part, why the right visual field (for most right handers) tends to be more emotionally reactive and visually "vivid." In effect, perception in the right visual field is less "filtered," according to the study. Consequently,  in your dominant eye you may typically "feel" a color or sound or image or experience  more intensely. (Observed Experiential Integration Therapy, which HICP owes much to, is based, to some extent on that notion of hemispheric specialization as well.)

In HICP, the model words and phrases used in the basic exercises (or protocols) and pedagogical movement patterns are designed to fit as much as possible within that general left/right specialization. Although I don't have a good icon that represents that perspective,  the drama mask with the black frowning face on the left and right the smiling face on the right is close. (Ideally the right face should be a lighter, bright colored; the left, a heavier, dark color.) Honest . . . that "two-faced" framework works . . . 

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