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Medical Split Brain

  1. Jan 26, 2017 #1

    Does split brain split or not split consciousness or mind? Previously it showed it splitted the consciousness (one for each side of the brain).. but the above mentioned it didn't. What's your take of this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 26, 2017 #2


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    That's really, really interesting!
  4. Jan 26, 2017 #3


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    There is no good definition of consciousness to begin with, so it's an impossible question to answer. It's possible the previous results were accurate and over time the brain compensated and found new networks to communicate over, or it's equally possible the previous research or the new research is flawed or both.

    It's all just speculation, unfortunately.
  5. Jan 27, 2017 #4
    It's better to use the word "mind" than the vague term "consciousness. The question is whether each left and right brain when severed can function as separate brain or mind. I remembered reading about accounts where the left and right hands having different movements due to the different minds controlling each pair. How many experiments or subjects were involved in all the previous studies.. I wonder how they could be all wrong if the new study is right?
  6. Jan 27, 2017 #5


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    The description in the sciencedaily site seems lacking.

    You can read this to gain a little better understanding

    Note that there is a picture half way down.
    Note that a face sent to either eyeball is designated as being seen as witnessed by the left hand pressing the button in either case.
    The subject cannot verbalize, or say, that he/she has seen anything when the image is presented to the right.

    Different sides are designated as being the usual centre for certain stimuli processing such as for visual, auditory, speech, reasoning, etc.
    How much overlap is probably a good question.

    But, even here, if you read farther down, to a 2009 study about morality testing in split brain patient(s), there is also a conclusion drawn or discussed that could be flawed in its explanation, as morality is a personal thing, due to influences from a person's environment amongst other reasons.. One could argue that both sides of the brain are reflecting upon the fact "one should not kill" no matter how, by accident or intent, and that is not expressed as being a possible reason for both sides giving equal morality scores to both events from the story. Cross talk in health subjects may give rise to the "But what if... " unequal morality scores.
    This is mostly editorial comment, for the simple reason that a researcher does have a great difficulty coming up with "tests" to explore the brain, making sure the tests are unbiased, and exploring reasons for the results.

    Any research, such as from the science daily article, furthers the field, and I really doubt that any one new study will be reason enough to throw out precious interpretations on a whim. What new studies do is refine the interpretation in ways not seen before.
  7. Jan 28, 2017 #6


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    There is not a lot information here ion the experiment. Both the sciencedaily and the nature articles mention that there are fewer and fewer people around who had this operation. To me, this implies that the people described in the sciencedaily article are not the results of recent surgeries. I don't think these operations are done much anymore, and if they are, partial rather than complete cuts of the corpus callosum may be more common.

    Cutting the corpus callosum only cuts direct connections between two cerebral hemispheres. There are plenty of possible indirect connections that go down to subcortical areas and then could come up to the cortex on the other side.

    If the operations were done long ago, it is possible that there was some kind of recovery of brain function since the 1970's or 1980's when the operations may have been done.
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