Split-brain research into hemispheric lateralisation

  • Created by: kateida0
  • Created on: 07-06-18 18:12

Hemispheric lateralisation- the idea that the  two halves (hemispheres) of the brain are functionally different and that certain mental processes and behaviours are mainly controlled by one hemisphere rather than the other, as in the example of langauge (which is localised as well as lateralised).

hemispheres in the brain have different functions e.g. left controls language

Split-brain research- a series of studies which began in the 1960s involving epileptic patients who had experienced a surgical seperation of the hemispheres of the brain. this allowed researchers to investigate the extent to which brain function is lateralised

Sperry (1968) studied epileptic patients who had their corpus callosum severed in an operation called a commissurotomy to seperate the two hemispheres in the brain, meaning that the main communication between the hemispheres was removed which allowed sperry and his colleague to see the extent to which the hemispheres were specialised to certain functions and whether they performed tasks independently of one another.


image or word is projected into patients RVF, processed by the LH, and another image in projected into LVF, processed by RH.

Key findings-

Describe what you see: patients could describe images projected to the RVF but couldn't when projected to LVF and often reported not seeing anything. this is because RVF is processed by the LH which is where the language centre in the brain is located, this lack of language centre in the RH is why patients couldnt describe what was seen. in normal brains, the Corpus Callosum relays the message from the RH to the LH and so absence of this structure prevents sharing of info



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