Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Medical Classics

A Study in Scarlet

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 03 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1138

The Odd Couple

Literature and theater abound in famous pairs of contrasting characters.
Everyone knows Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy,
Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton, and Oscar Madison and Felix Unger. Why do we
love these characters so much? Perhaps they humorously remind us that each
us is an "odd couple" with contrasting characteristics. And perhaps our
contrasting characteristics result from the cognitive dissonance between our
cerebral hemispheres: the left, which controls language and linear thought; and
the right, which controls visual-spatial and non-linear thought. (1)

(1) Mann, H. It’s not so elementary, my dear doctor

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

06 March 2010
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA