Split-brain research into hemispheric lateralisation

  • Created by: dix101
  • Created on: 08-01-19 18:09
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  • Split-brain research into hemispheric lateralisation
    • Hemispheric lateralisation: language is subject to hemispheric lateralisation - for most people language is controlled by the left hemisphere
    • demonstrated lateralised brain functions: the left hemisphere analyses, the right hemisphere synthesises
    • Strengths of methodology:standardised and controlled procedures to control input into each hemisphere
    • Theoretical basis: Puvetti: Two minds = duality in the brain, in reality is an integrated system
    • Issues with generalisation: small unrepresentative sample, no control group
    • Differences in function may be overstated: distinction between hemispheres is messier than the research suggests
  • Split-brain studies: Sperry (1968) study involve unique group of people, all had undergone an operation called COMMISSUROTOMY - in which the corpus callosum that connects the two hemispheres is cut to control frequent and severe epileptic seizures
    • main communication line between the two hemispheres was removed
      • allowed Sperry and his colleaguessee the extent to which the two hemispheres were specialised for certain functions, and whether the hemispheres performed tasks independently of each other
      • Procedure
        • Devised general procedure in which image or word could be projected to patients right visual field or a different image could be projected to the left visual field
          • in the normal brain, corpus callosum would immediately share info between both hemispheres giving complete image of visual field
            • presenting image to one hemisphere of split brain patient meant info could not be conveyed from that hemisphere to another
        • Findings
          • Describing what you see: when patient shown image on right visual field, patient could easily describe was was seen HOWEVER if same object was shown to the left visual field patient could describe what was seen and reported there was nothing there
            • lack of language centres in right hemisphere


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