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Psych 13 - The Split Brain(414-422 The corpus callosum the...

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The Split Brain (414-422) The corpus callosum, the largest cerebral commissure, seem to leave patients unaffected if it was absent or damaged. One of the functions of the corpus callosum is to transfer learned information from one hemisphere to the other. When the corpus callosum is cut, each hemisphere can function independently. The key to split-brain research was to develop procedures for teaching and testing one hemisphere at a time. There are two routes by which visual information can cross from one eye to the contralateral hemisphere, via the corpus callosum or via the optic chiam. Scotoma is an area of blindness. Epileptic discharges often spread from one hemisphere to the other through the corpus callosum, this lead to therapeutic commissurotomies (transecting the corpus callosum and leaving the smaller commissures intact), which left the patients without any more major convulsions. Human split-brain patients seem to have in some respects two independent brains, each with its own stream of consciousness, abilities, memories, and emotions. Split-brain patients brains are not equal in their ability to perform certain tasks, ex the left hemisphere is capable of speed whereas the right is usually not. Think of it as the right hemisphere which can understand a few simple instructions but cant speak who receives sensory information from the left visual field and left hand, and who controls the fine motor responses of the left hand, and the left hemisphere which is verbally adept and receives sensory information from the right visual field and right hands and who controls the fine motor responses of the right hand. When test objects are presented to the right hemisphere either visually or tactually the pattern of responses is entirely different. A split-brain patient asked to name an object flashed in the left visual field is likely to claim they saw nothing. A patient asked to name an object placed in
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