Thursday, July 17, 2014

Split-brain, or what are the hemispheres for?

I see behavioral studies of patients with severed corpus collosum describing one or the other impairments of recognition functions.

"Speech" and "Visual Recognition and "Tactile Recognition" are easy-to-label groups of function. Simply noting that the majority of such are localized in different hemispheres yields the obvious point: that coordination is interrupted when you cut the connecting nerves.Possibly you could have just as well localized  them on one side. Perhaps there is an advantage to having two thoughts about the same thing?

Is there an origin of two brain hemispheres? I want to think there is some "first" hemi-brained creature with some "first" function not possible with only a single brain. But the logic is weak. Hemispheres could have arisen as redundant organs, followed by specialization.

Are there comparable creatures with and without dual hemispheres? If so, are there functional behaviors which differ and seem to have been enabled by the dual hemispheres?

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