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Localization of functions in the brain

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Localization of functions in the brain Split brain experiment Introduction and purpose of the study Localization of functions in the brain can be described as how different parts of the brain carry out different functions. Examples which can be included are vision, body movements, speech and tactile perception. It was not until the early 1950s that research involving corpus callosotomy was linked to the so called split brain condition. The term split-brain refers to when the connection between the left and right cerebral hemispheres, involving the corpus callosum, is cut off in order to preclude certain information being transferred between the two hemispheres. Such as in severe cases of epilepsy, it has been documented that patients undergoing this type of surgical procedure have been rather effective in order to prevent future seizures. In 1954, a study about the split brain condition was conducted by two neuroscientists; Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga. The study was conducted in order to ascertain if there are any differences between the two hemispheres as well as gaining a better understanding in how the corpus callosum works. ...read more.


Whenever a stimulus were presented to the right visual field, the patients were unable to define what they had seen. In a second task, two visual images were presented simultaneously, one on either side of the visual field, for instance a shovel presented to their left visual field and a chicken to their right. The patient was then asked to draw what they had just seen with their left hand, the patient had no problem identifying the object seen through their left visual field, drawing a shovel. When asked what they had drawn, they would answer what they had seen from their right visual field, which was a chicken. Due to the information not longer being able to transmit between the two hemispheres the patients were unable to process the visual information they had received. For the study to be successful it was designed in a way to ensure that a certain stimulus would only pass through either the right or the left visual field at the time. ...read more.


Though, when asked if they could draw or point out what object they had seen, it was successfully done without any difficulties. It can simply be put as the right hemisphere would match the object by appearance, while the left hemisphere would match by the function of the object. Major contributions made from this study includes how each cerebral hemisphere specializes in different tasks; the left hemisphere concentrating on more analytical, logical, and verbal tasks, whereas, the right hemisphere dominating in spatial abilities and visual imagery. During this era it was also discovered how each hemisphere had the ability to control different parts of the body. The left hemisphere controlling the right side of the body, whereas the right hemisphere controls the left side. Through studies like this, it has given scientists and psychologists a greater knowledge in understanding how the cerebral hemispheres functions, as well as the human brain in general. It has also given a vast improvement on how to treat various neurological illnesses including epilepsy, Alzheimer's and stroke. ?? ?? ?? ?? Nathalie Zheng IB2 Psychology HL 20100910 ...read more.

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