Friday, March 04, 2005

Split Something-or-Other

Richard has an interesting post on split-brain cases. As I note in the comments, I actually think commissurotomy cases are one more evidence that personal identity is not reducible to psychological continuity: people whose hemispheres have been split act almost exactly like you do. There is clearly a division of some sort going on; but it takes quite a bit of work to set up a situation that uncovers it. One of the surprising things about split brains is that it can allow for hemispheric conflicts of the sort made famous by the experiments. Another surprising thing is that, despite this, brain bisection has extremely few effects. Split-brain patients do not seem to be split people, despite the fact that under particular circumstances you can induce hemispheric conflicts.

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