Friday, June 25, 2004

A New Blogger writes about the Corpus Callosum

On Diary of a Delusional Dustmote,  Paolo writes about the corpus callosum, in his fifth post:

Thursday, June 24, 2004

A brief intro for those unfamiliar with split-brain syndrome:

A split-brain patient is someone who has had his corpus callosum -- pretty much the only connection between the left and right hemispheres of one’s brain -- severed. This was once done in order to reduce the propagation of epileptic neural activity across the two hemispheres. In other words, to treat epilepsy. Split-brain patients for most purposes will behave just like normal people. It is difficult to recognize them outside of a controlled laboratory setting. But if you find the right tests, what you learn may astonish and even terrify you.

[...] Imagine that there are really two people up there in our heads, but they manage to cooperate and behave as one because there’s this phone line between them called the corpus callosum. But if you disconnect this phone line, all hell breaks loose. It’s worse than a Beatles break-up.

Another dramatic anecdote: one split-brain patient was asked what his dream job would be. The left hemisphere, through speech, said “accountant”. The right hemisphere, by writing with the left hand, said “race-car driver”! [...]