Hemispheric Brain Preference and Academic Parameters in Medical Students: A Cross-sectional Study

  • Bibek Koju Lumbini Medical College and Teaching Hospital https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5882-2707
  • Lok Raj Joshi Lumbini Medical College and Teaching Hospital
  • Shaligram Chaudhary Lumbini Medical College and Teaching Hospital https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7242-1846
  • Anupama Shrestha Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences
Keywords: Handedness, Hemispheric brain preferences, Learning, Medical students


Introduction: Hemispheric brain preference means using one side of the brain over the other to learn. Hemispheric brain preference may influence one’s learning style. This study aimed to investigate hemispheric brain preference and its relation with academic parameters in medical students. Methods: Four hundred participants were included in the study by cluster random sampling. Using self-administered questionnaires, data on personal profile (name, age, sex, handedness, academic score, study method, study hours per day and study pattern) and hemispheric brain dominance was collected. Open Hemispheric Brain Dominance Scale 1.0 (2015) was used to determine the hemispheric brain dominance. Result: Participants having no clear hemispheric brain preference (46.75%) were in majority followed by those with left hemispheric brain preference (29.25%) and then those with right hemispheric brain preference (24%). There was a statistically significant difference in academic score of students with different hemispheric brain preference (p=0.021). Students with left brain preference had the highest academic score (63.85±11.78) and those with no clear preference had the lowest (59.96±11.64). Also, students with left hemispheric brain preference would study more regularly and would spend more time in study per day. Conclusion: In our sample, participants with left hemispheric brain preference were found to have the highest mean academic score but they also spent more time in study and also studied regularly throughout the semester. As this study shows diversity in brain preference among medical students, we recommend a good mix of various teaching learning methods for better learning of the entire class.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Bibek Koju, Lumbini Medical College and Teaching Hospital


Department of Physiology.

Lok Raj Joshi, Lumbini Medical College and Teaching Hospital


Department of Physiology.

Shaligram Chaudhary, Lumbini Medical College and Teaching Hospital


Department of Physiology.

Anupama Shrestha, Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences


Department of Anatomy.


Singh P. Interaction effect of brain hemispheric dominance and study habits on academic achievement in mathematics. International Journal of Applied Research. 2015;1(11):746-50. Available from: http://www.allresearchjournal. com/archives/2015/vol1issue11/PartK/1-11-95.pdf

Iaccino JF. Left brain-right brain differences inquiries, evidence, and new approaches. Behavioral Science. 1994;39(4):326-28. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/bs.3830390408

Field TA. Integrating Left brain and Right brain: The Neuroscience of Effective Counseling. The Professional Counselor. 2014;4(1):19-27. Available from: https://www.questia.com/library/ journal/1P3-3193664461/integrating-left-brain-and right-brain-the-neuroscience

Oflaz M. The effect of right and left brain dominance in language learning. Procedia Social and Behavioural Science. 2011;15:1507-13. Available from: https://core.ac.uk/download/ pdf/82749489.pdf

Widmaier E, Raff H, Strang K. Vander’s Human Physiology: The Mechanisms of Body Functions. 13th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2014.

Szirony GM, Pearson LC, Burgin JS, Murray GC, Elrod LM. Brain Hemisphere Dominance and Vocational Preference: A preliminary analysis. Work. 2007;29(4):323-9. Available from: https://www.deepdyve.com/lp/ios-press/ brain-hemisphere-dominance-and-vocational-preference-a-preliminary-qAICPTOW0n

Ghraibeh AM. Brain based learning and its relation with multiple intelligences. International Journal of Psychological Studies. 2012;4(1):103– 13. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ijps.v4n1p103

Kumar V, Sharma RRK. Relating Left/Right Brained Dominance Types of Leaders to TQM Focus: A Preliminary Study. In: Industrial Engineering and Operations Management Society International. Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 8-10, 2016. Malaysia: IEOM Society International; 2016. p.814-823 Available from: http://ieomsociety.org/ieom_2016/pdfs/217.pdf

Mi-Ran K, Su-Jeong H. Critical Thinking and Communication Skills in Nursing Students. Advanced Science and Technology Letters. 2016;128:33-7. Available from: shorturl.at/rACP1

Keat TS, Kumar V, Rushdi MSB, Nazri NAB, Xuan LZ. The Relationship between Brain Dominance and Academic Performance: A Cross sectional Study. British Journal of Medicine & Medical Research. 2016;13(6):1-9. DOI: https:// doi.org/10.9734/BJMMR/2016/22881

Mansour EA, El-Araby M, Pandaan IN, Gemeay EM. Hemispherical Brain Dominance and Academic Achievement among Nursing Students. Journal of Nursing and Health Science. 2017;6(3):32-6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.9790/1959- 0603083236

Deane RP, Murphy DJ. Students attendance and academic performance in undergraduate obstetrics/ gynecology clinical rotations. JAMA. 2013;310(21):2282-8. PMID: 24302091. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2013.282228

Kök İ. Listening comphrension achievement and brain dominance. Procedia-social and Behavioral Science. 2014;122:329-34. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.01.1348

Jorgenson E. Open Hemispheric Brain Dominance Scale 1.0. Available from: https:// o p e n p s y c h o m e t r i c s . o rg/tests/OHBDS/ development/OHBDS1.0.pdf [Assessed 28th August 2019]

Crane LD. The Alert scale of cognitive style. Available from: https://cte.dce.harvard. edu/~mdumais/BrainBasedLearningWebsite/ Hemisphere_Preference_Interactive_Assessment_ Final.pdf [Assessed 29th August 2019]

Wagner RF, Wells KA. A refined neurobehavioral inventory of hemispheric preference. J Clin Psychol. 1985;41(5):671-6. PMID:4044850. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/1097- 4 6 7 9 ( 1 9 8 5 0 9 ) 4 1 : 5 % 3 C 6 7 1 : : a i d -jclp2270410514%3E3.0.co;2-1

Carter P. Test and Assess Your Brain Quotient. 1st ed. London and Philadelphia: Kogan Page Limited; 2009.

Turgeon M. Right Brain/Left Brain Reflexology. 1st ed. Vermont: Healing Arts Press; 1988.

Morton BE. Outcomes of hemisphericity questionnaires correlate with unilateral dichotic deafness. Brain and Cognition. 2002;49(1):63–72. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1006/brcg.2001.1485

Genovese JE. Hemispheric Cognitive Styles: A Comparision of Three Instruments. The Journal of Genetics Psychology. 2005;166(4):467-81. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3200/GNTP.166.4.467-482

Salem AAMS. Engaging ESP Students with Brain-Based Learning For Improved Listening Skills, Vocabulary Retention And Motivation. Canadian Center of Science and Education. 2017;10(12):182–95. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ elt.v10n12p182

Ferrer FP. Correlation of Learners’ Brain Dominance and Mathematics Performance: An Investigation in Educational Setting. International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research. 2015;14(2):287-92. Available from: file:///C:/ Users/DeLL/Downloads/IJISR-15-027-01.pdf

Humera S. A Study of Hemispheric Dominance and Mathematics Achievement of Xth Standard Students of Aurangabad City. Scholarly Research Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies. 2015;2(16):2757-63. Available from: http://www. srjis.com/pages/pdfFiles/146709838026%20 Syeda%20Humera.pdf

Ali RM, Kor LK. Association between Brain hemisphericity, Learning styles and confidence in using Graphics calculator for Mathematics. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education. 2007;3:127–31. Available from: file:///C:/Users/DeLL/Downloads/Association%20 between.pdf

How to Cite
Koju B, Joshi L, Chaudhary S, Shrestha A. Hemispheric Brain Preference and Academic Parameters in Medical Students: A Cross-sectional Study. J Lumbini Med Coll [Internet]. 5Jan.2020 [cited 8Jul.2020];7(2):37-3. Available from: https://jlmc.edu.np/index.php/JLMC/article/view/290
Original Research Article