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Consciousness - Consciousness subjective awareness of...

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Consciousness – subjective awareness of experience - Unnecessary for many tasks. Automatic rather than consciously controlled processes are involved In most actions – explains why you can listen and type (or think about you day and walk home) at the same time – typing/walking home is automatic – well- learned and requiring little conscious awareness to complete. - Split-brain patients tell us about the possibility of having two distinct conscious minds in one body What’s a split-brain? - If you sever the corpus collosum, the two hemispheres of the brain can no longer communicate with one another. Sometimes it is necessary to sever the corpus collosum to treat severe epilepsy. - Each hemisphere has its own set of brain areas (occipital, parietal, temporal, and frontal lobes) – so each can process information, but only form certain channels. o Hemispheres show contralateral organization: Left: controls motor on right side of body, gets input from right visual field and also from right ear Right: controls motor on left side of body, gets input from left visual field and also from left ear - In most individuals, only the left hemisphere can speak well (Broca’s area in left frontal controls motor movements to make sounds of language). The right hemisphere does have simple verbal ability - can gesture and write with left hand to “tell” researches what it is thinking about. o This is how we know there are two conscious and aware “minds” within a single body. Hemispheric Specialization - Left is specialized for: o Spoken language/grammar o Motor control on right side of body - Right is specialized for: o Spatial relations/emotion o Motor control on left side of body - Aphasia vs. aprosody o Aphasia: is an acquired language disorder in which there is an impairment of any language modality. This may include difficulty in producing or comprehending spoken or written language. o - Split brain patients will engage in “cross-cueing” by gesture, because right hemisphere is often mute. Left hemisphere interprets information (can tell a story to try to make sense of the right hemisphere’s action.
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