8.5 Why is Right Ear Dominance Important?
The right ear connects directly to the left brain. Therefore it should be the directing ear for efficient language processing.
Dr Tomatis discovered, through his experiments with singers, that all people function better if the right ear leads, (except in the case of mirror image twins where the anatomy is completely reversed.)
Sound Therapy is designed to enhance right ear dominance in order to improve our auditory processing.
The right ear is the most direct route for sound to reach the primary language centre in the left brain.
Therefore when the right ear directs, language processing becomes more fluent. Children or adults with auditory processing problems find that Sound Therapy automatically enhances their language skills.
The left forebrain is also the seat of some areas which enhance our sense of optimism and wellbeing, and are activated by meditation. Sound Therapy has a similar effect as it specifically activates the left brain. This is one of the reasons that it reduces anxiety and depression and improves the sense of optimism and joy.
The role of right ear dominance in Sound Therapy
- Improves auditory processing
- Improves mood and sense of optimism
Your right ear has to do a different job to your left ear. All of us have a dominant ear and Dr Tomatis discovered that people who are right ear dominant learn much more easily than those who are left ear dominant. This is because the right ear is directly connected to the left brain, where we find the main processing centre for language. The pathway from the right ear to the left brain is a direct, efficient connection. However, if you listen primarily with your left ear, the sounds first go to the right brain. The right brain is much less efficient at integrating language. Therefore, the information has to be rerouted to the left brain via the Corpus Callosum. This longer pathway causes a delay in processing the information. Thus, left-ear-dominant people have to play catch-up all the time. Not only is the information received late, it is also incomplete. In the transfer from the right brain to the left brain, some of the higher frequencies are lost. These higher frequencies are the key to distinguishing similar sounds such as T and D. Left-ear-dominant people will often have difficulties learning to read due to these processing delays. The process of listening to Sound Therapy emphasises and strengthens the right ear in its leading role. This is why it is crucial to wear earphones while listening.