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Corpus Callosotomy and Hemispherectomy

February 7, 2013

We talked a little bit in class this week about corpus callosotomies. Lest you think I was making this stuff up, here’s the first paragraph of a recent piece in the journal Nature:

In the first months after her surgery, shopping for groceries was infuriating. Standing in the supermarket aisle, Vicki would look at an item on the shelf and know that she wanted to place it in her trolley — but she couldn’t. “I’d reach with my right for the thing I wanted, but the left would come in and they’d kind of fight,” she says. “Almost like repelling magnets.” Picking out food for the week was a two-, sometimes three-hour ordeal. Getting dressed posed a similar challenge: Vicki couldn’t reconcile what she wanted to put on with what her hands were doing. Sometimes she ended up wearing three outfits at once. “I’d have to dump all the clothes on the bed, catch my breath and start again.”

The rest is here. You can also check out a video on split-brain syndrome from Scientific American:

Corpus callosotomies should not be confused with hemispherectomies, which, some of the cadets who’ve studied with me before know, freak me out, though in a good way.

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From → Brains, Consciousness

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