Conscious awareness

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This week in class, we discussed consciousness and the difference between what goes on in the left and right hemispheres of the brain. We also discussed the consequences of severing the corpus callosum in split-brain surgery. Instantly at the mention of consciousness, I thought of this video that I watched on recently. This woman, Doctor Jill Bolte Taylor suffered a stroke in 1996 and was able to study her brain from the inside out. She discusses what her experiences were, and what roles the right and left hemispheres played in those experiences.

One thing that I do wonder about after class this week and watching this video is why in split-brain surgery, patients only suffer to disconnection with voicing what they see on their left side (that which goes to the right hemisphere). From what Doctor Jill Bolte Taylor shared in the video, the right hemisphere is much more abstract and carefree than the left, which is where all the business and reasoning takes place. I feel like with the severing of the corpus callosum, there would be a disconnection of these two brain personalities. As she says, "the right hemisphere sees the big pictures and the left hemispheres picks out details, and more details of those details."

I wonder if the way the brain interprets what it sees visually is altered depending on which side of the brain it is sent to. If these two sides of the brain really do have "different personalities," then wouldn't they think about what they see in different ways as well? This makes me think that although reasoning takes place in the frontal lobe, once split-brain surgery is performed, if the patient sees something happen quickly on the left side of their body, would they react in a more carefree way than if they saw it on their right? Or would it be the other way around because the left hemisphere pays attention to details and the right hemisphere sees the whole picture?

I think it would be extremely interesting to study something like this. If only doctors could turn off one side of your brain to study the differences between turning a hemisphere off and keeping them both on, but connected.

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This page contains a single entry by schu2851 published on October 8, 2011 2:19 PM.

Why am I dreaming about my dog , an airplane , and painting my nails? was the previous entry in this blog.

Insight into Sight is the next entry in this blog.

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