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Split Brain Project

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Sarah Bradley

on 8 January 2013

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Transcript of Split Brain Project

Split Brain Left Brain- Right Brain Theory: Left & Right Brain: Severing the corpus callosum was first used as treatment for severe epilepsy History Brain Plasticity By Meryl Warshafsky, Riley Herrmann,
and Sarah Bradley The theory that each side of the brain controls different types of thinking, based on lateralization of brain function However, recent research has shown that brain
activity can be strongest when both sides are working together. Right and Left Brain Comparison Left Brain Right Brain Logic
Numbers critical thinking
reasoning Broca's Area
Wernicke's Area Recognizing faces Expressing Emotion Music Reading Emotion Images Color Intuition Creativity Spatial Manipulation 1950s: 1962: Patients began showing improvement and corpus callostomy became a last resort for epilepsy. 1970s: Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga discovered that with split brain patients, "the left and right didn't know what the other was doing" - began a race to study the lateralized function of the brain brain plasticity allows it to modify itself - especially after strokes/other injuries
partial or complete callosotomy used for epilepsy - plasticity allows for some repair
compensation occurs
right hemisphere in language capabilities - could understand words and then gesture Paul Significant language development in right hemisphere before surgery
enabled interviewing of both hemispheres for thoughts brain is a network
corpus callosum facilitates communication
normal - left and right communicate and send info to the other
split brain - hemispheres don't communicate Right Most patients have coordinated movements:
sometimes experience independent and conflicting actions

Ex. Right hand put clothes on
Left hand pulled clothes off

Ex. Left hand attacked wife
Right hand tried to protect her Brain Function 1:00 - 2:37 Left hand can draw - though most patients were right handed
Right hand can write - controlled by left
Less likely to discuss feelings - right hemisphere's thoughts and perceptions normally unable to be expressed

Language not limited to left hemisphere
-when a word is shown to right hemisphere, left hand can point to word in a list

Dreaming not only right hemisphere-patients could talk about dreams
more realistic and less imaginative Patient Behaviors wanted to be a draftsman
during Watergate, liked Nixon stated he wanted to be automobile racer
during Watergate, expressed dislike for Nixon Left Experiments/Findings 7:30 1. Words flashed to right field of vision (left hemisphere) - patient writes word with right hand & says word
Words flashed to left field of vision (right hemisphere) - patient could not say or write word, but left hand could draw word

2. Each hemisphere shown
drawing to be produced
-Left hand drawing always
superior If left brain doesn't understand
something, it will come up with
a reasonable explanation Brain Lateralization Writing done with left hand
Right hemisphere typically nonverbal - showed some comprehension
could use left hand to point to word

Patients don't express emotions
thoughts and feelings of right brain go unexpressed

Dreaming was still done by the patients
not only a right brain activity b/c they were able to talk about them
more logical and realistic Sperry received Nobel Prize 1981 for split-brain studies
much of brain function is lateralized
each side controls separate functions
brain is not a like computer with specific places having specific tasks - it is a network
Yet, patients did not feel anything other than "whole"
because of Gazzaniga's interpreter theory Left Brain as an Interpreter left brain interpreter allows for unity between self and mental life
compensates for right brain's inability to explain in words Today: treatment replaced by drugs and less invasive/radical procedures - patients valuable for study Gazzaniga Sperry Fruit or a Face? If the painting were flashed to the left, a patient with split brain would point to the word "face"
However, if the image were flashed to the right, the patient would point to the word "fruit" This is because the ability to recognize faces
is located in the right hemisphere. Thus, when the picture was flashed to the left, the image was sent to the right hemisphere where the patient with split brain recognized the face. The right half of the brain is responsible
for racial recognition
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