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Mota Boy
03-14-2008, 12:03 PM
And no, it's not this (http://gawker.com/5003867/the-scientologists-glitzy-birthday-party-for-tom-cruise).

Split-brain patients.

For those of y'all that don't want to bother with the link, split-brain patients are people that have had their brains cut in half. The nerve links between the two hemispheres are severed, separating the two eyeballs, along with the language from the motor functions of the body. Regarding the eyeballs, there's one really goddamn interesting part - they don't just lose sight in one eye, they literally lose half their sight. The are only able to see the left or right half of things. If you ask them to draw someone's face, they'll only draw one half. If you ask them to draw a clock, it'll turn out something like this:

http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~gawron/intro/aphasia_lec_files/clock.gif

It's totally crazy.

But it gets even more interesting (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMLzP1VCANo).

Yes, that's right. What you saw on that video was a man who's language function could only see one thing, while his physical function could only see another. If the language function saw it, it would say it; if the physical function saw it, it would draw it. And neither would know why the other was doing it.

So man, that's pretty goddamn wild, right? Our bodies processing and remembering information and carrying out actions without our conscious knowledge. Oh, but wait. It gets even better.

So. You can show things to the acting part of the body without the speaking part seeing it, or vice versa, right? Well now, what if rather than just giving the physical part a word and a pen, how about giving it a command? Yes, you can do that. You can tell the physical side of a split-brain patient to leave the room, or to laugh, and the speaking part of the brain has no fucking clue why it did that. Now, here's what's really, really interesting, and slightly horrifying: when you ask the speaking part of the brain why it carried out those actions, it will give you a false explanation, such as "I went out to get a Coke" or "I'm just laughing because you guys carry out these experiments each month - what a way to make a living!" So our speaking, conscious part of our brains will come up with an after-the-fact, fantasy explanation for an action that was entirely controlled by the unconsciouses, physical parts of our bodies, all the while, apparently, completely believing it himself or herself.

It causes one to wonder just how conscious we actually are - how much of our conscious thought consists of retrograde justifications for unconscious actions.

Cock Joke
03-14-2008, 12:54 PM
And people still haven't found the technology to heal certain diseases without cutting half the brain?

If I ended up like that, I'd be miserable. Actually no, one half of me would be miserable and the other half would be oblivious! :p

EMehl6
03-14-2008, 12:55 PM
Uh, wow. That's fucking insane. But interesting as hell.

You know that if a patient that has a hemispherectomy is young enough, the half of the brain that's left is capable of picking up and learning everything that the other side of the brain did? How fucking crazy is that?

Link K2B
03-14-2008, 03:32 PM
That's amazin. Must be a shite way to live though.

wheelchairman
03-14-2008, 03:38 PM
I am not in the condition to read this.

GreenTerror
03-14-2008, 03:44 PM
And people still haven't found the technology to heal certain diseases without cutting half the brain?

It's supposed to just reduce how crazy his seizures were, not get rid of them completely, though. But I guess it's better than nothing. If I remember right, when they cut the communication off between the two hemispheres, the seizure can't spread to different parts of the brain, making it less severe. Most of the patients I've read about who have had this done didn't have very many dramatic changes in living because of it. But that guy was just... Wow.

Llamas
03-14-2008, 07:15 PM
I didn't click the links, but I read the post. I've studied the functions of the corpus callosum for years, both regarding the biological aspects and the lingual aspects. It is truly fascinating, and maybe I'll dig out a book I have about the lingual aspect later... but it all actually makes perfect sense when you really get into it. Crazy shit, though.

opivy21
03-14-2008, 09:04 PM
We talked briefly talked about this in Psych. I remember hearing about one woman who tried to choke herself with one hand without realizing it. Nuts...

wheelchairman
03-15-2008, 02:23 AM
It is however kinda neat that our brains are so decentralized and departmentalized that they can be cut in half and still function at almost 100% of what it was before.

Brain-redundancy.

barangatang
03-15-2008, 04:28 AM
Now, here's what's really, really interesting, and slightly horrifying: when you ask the speaking part of the brain why it carried out those actions, it will give you a false explanation, such as "I went out to get a Coke" or "I'm just laughing because you guys carry out these experiments each month - what a way to make a living!" So our speaking, conscious part of our brains will come up with an after-the-fact, fantasy explanation for an action that was entirely controlled by the unconsciouses, physical parts of our bodies, all the while, apparently, completely believing it himself or herself.



This reminds me a little of doublethink.

Sidewinder
03-15-2008, 09:47 AM
One of the special needs kids I work with had half his brain taken out. None of this applies to him. But still, weird.