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Some effects of disconnecting the cerebral hemispheres

Sperry, Roger (1982) Some effects of disconnecting the cerebral hemispheres. Science, 217 (4566). pp. 1223-1226. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.7112125.

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To start by looking back a little, recall that even a small brain lesion, if critically located in the left or language hemisphere, may selectively destroy a person's ability to read, while at the same time sparing speech and the ability to converse. The printed page continues to be seen, but the words have lost their meaning. This condition typically follows from focal damage to the angular gyrus in the left hemisphere. It also results from lesions interruptingt he neural input to this left angular gyrus from the visual or calcarine cortical areas (1, 2). It is natural to conclude in such cases that the left hemisphere is responsible for reading while the undamaged right hemisphere, in contrast, must be "wordblind" or incapable of seeing meaning in the printed word.

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Additional Information:© 1982 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Our split-brain studies could hardly have succeeded without the contributions of a long line of very able graduate students and postdoctoral associates. I am particularly grateful to Ronald Myers, who started the animal work in his doctoral research at the University of Chicago; Michael Gazzaniga, the first to work with the human subjects; and Jerre Levy, the first to demonstrate superior cognitive processing in the right hemisphere. All contributed immensely to these respective innovations as did others to more specific aspects of the program. We are deeply indebted to Drs. Joseph Bogen and Phillip Vogel for generously making their patients available to study, and to the patients themselves without whose long and willing cooperation the human work would not have been possible. Our work has been dependent for funding since the late 1950's on successive federal grants conferred mainly by the National Institute of Mental Health. My chair at Caltech was made possible and has been sustained throughout by the F. P. Hixon Fund of the California Institute of Technology donated to bring to the institute research bearing on "the 'why' of human behavior." For research assistance in the human studies I owe much to the dedicated efforts of Dahlia Zaidel over a 9 year period beginning in 1967, and to those also of Lois MacBird in both the animal, and more recently, the human work extending over a 25- year period to the present. Our research progress has depended in no small measure on the consistent support received on all sides at Caltech. My own efforts could not have prospered without the constant help and understanding of Norma, my wife, whose competence and willingness in handling matters of our home and family has freed me over the years to give added time to problems of the laboratory.
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National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)UNSPECIFIED
F. P. Hixon Fund, CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:4566
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150128-152647397
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Official Citation:Sperry, R. (1982). Some effects of disconnecting the cerebral hemispheres. Science, 217(4566), 1223-1226. doi: 10.1126/science.7112125
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:54200
Deposited On:29 Jan 2015 04:09
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 20:30

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