The limits of the Left Hemisphere Interpreter in a Split Brain patient

Document Type: 
ASSC Conference Item
Article Type: 
prosopagnosia, disorders of consciousness, psychology
Deposited by: 
Rami Gabriel
Date of Issue: 
Event Dates: 
23 - 26 June 2006
Event Location: 
Oxford, England
Event Title: 
Association for the scientific study of consciousness
Event Type: 
ASSC Conference
Presentation Type: 
Number of Pages: 
Research has shown that the Right Hemisphere is superior at tasks which necessitate spatial reasoning while the Left Hemisphere is superior at tasks that necessitate higher level cognitive processing. I investigate these findings by exposing a Split Brain patient to two types of sequences of images: a) narrative events (viz. comic strips) and b) spatial patterns. After viewing a given spatial or narrative sequence, the patient is given a two alternative forced choice asking her to decide “what comes next” in a given sequence. Each hemisphere is tested separately using both types of sequences. In this way I am able to compare narrative vs. spatial interpretation across hemispheres. Normal participant responses will be used as control data. I hypothesize that the Right Hemisphere will be able to complete the spatial, but not the narrative sequences; the Left Hemisphere, by contrast, is hypothesized to show the reverse pattern in performance. This experiment joins the debate on how narrative, and thus interpretation, within consciousness is represented in the mind of a Split Brain patient. It helps clarify the nature of the Left Hemisphere interpreter through identifying its specific type of content, namely, narrative events. Further work will focus on the nature of the relationship between interpretation and conscious experience.
ASSC2006.ppt1.38 MB