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Split brain behavioral experiment
Touch a word or the <play> button for sound
Click on a word or on the <play> button for sound
Click on a word or on the red <play> button for sound

To reduce the severity of his seizures, Joe had the bridge between his left and right cerebral hemisphers (the corpus callosum) severed. As a result, his left and right brains no longer communicate through that pathway. Here's what happens as a result. Very interesting.

And now the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere now are working independent of each other but you don't notice it Now you just kinda adapt to it. You don't do anything different than you did before.

Seven years ago Joe had brain surgery To allay the effects of severe epilepsy. His surgeon cut the nerve fibbers connecting His left hemisphere with his right. While the operation was a complete success Joe's unusual case offers an extraordinary insight. Into the machinery of the mind This fibre system, the corpus callosum, is located midway between the two hemispheres When it was surgically severed in Joe's brain. The transmission of information between the two hemispheres was halted [Michael Gazzaniga]

What we can do is play tricks by putting information into his disconnected, non-talking right hemisphere. We can watch it produce behaviours and out of that we can really see that there
is, in fact, A reason to believe that there's all kinds of complex processes going on Outside of his conscious awareness of his left half brain.

Joe I'm gonna show you some things and I just want you to tell me what you see and here we go - are you ready? Look right at the dot

- Right. Okay are you ready? Look right at the dot.
- Grapes.
- Good.

When Joe focuses on a point everything to the right of the point goes to his left brain. The dominate hemisphere for language and speech So we can see here that when we flash a word
or a picture Joe is easily able to name it.

- I didn't see it.
- Close your eyes and let your left hand do a little work here Okay what do you got there?
- A pan.
- Okay, very good.

Now when a word or picture falls to the left of a fixation point That information goes to his disconnected right half brain And as we can see here, Joe is unable to name it. Joe is able to draw the picture with his left hand His left hand getting the major control from the right half brain.

- What did you draw?
- Car.
- What did you see?
- Wheel. 

So even though he can't name it, his left hand it able to draw out a picture Of the stimulus presented to his right half brain.

- What did you see?
- I saw a hammer.
- Just close your eyes and draw with your left hand Just let it go. That's nice. What's that?
- A saw.
- What did you see?
- A hammer.
- What did you draw that for?
- I don't know.

What we have with Joe is just a dramatic example of a neurologic case That really allows you this window into the nonconscious and how powerful nonconscious processes are at influencing our conscious self our personal self.

What Joe and patients like him, and there are many of them, teaches us is that the mind is made up of a constellation of independent and semi-independent agents and these agents, these processes, can carry on a vast number of activities outside of our conscious awareness.

Even though that goes on there is this final stage, or some final system Which I happen to think is in the left hemisphere. That pulls all of this information together into a theory. It has to generate a theory to explain all of these independent elements and that theory becomes our particular of ourselves and the world.


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