Tadanobu Tsunoda, MD, 79, is the author of "The Japanese Brain" (now in its 38th Japanese edition), and the inventor of the Tsunoda Key Tapping Machine. He developed this simple analog system in the 1960s, and claims it is still the most accurate machine in the world for measuring the brainstem's switch mechanism, which determines which side of the brain processes sounds. He first presented his findings about connections between the brain, language and culture to an international audience at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Meetings of Experts on the Concept of Race in History, held in Montreal in 1978. Still researching, he is as mesmerized by the beauty of the brain as ever.

The brain is like a computer, and only the operating system matters. We initialize the brain with language, which is exactly like using an operating system such as Windows or Macintosh. I found that a brain formatted with Japanese or any of the Polynesian languages reacts differently from other brains.

DNA has nothing to do with it. Left-brain dominance is seen in all people who learn Japanese or a Polynesian language between the ages of 6 and 9, regardless of race, nationality or ethnic background. Any language learned before age 6 or after age 9 makes no difference to the brain's switch mechanism.