It has long been believed that the two sides of our brains interpret the world in different ways. The left hemisphere is commonly viewed as the verbal hemisphere, whereas the right hemisphere is viewed as the spatial or orientation hemisphere. In this class we will explore the history of how such concepts have come about and examine, in both humans and animals, whether and how the two sides of the brain diverge in interpreting sensory information. We will review the classic studies of patients whose connections between the two hemispheres have been cut to control epilepsy seizures that cannot be controlled by medication. We will explore the idea that each hemisphere has a life of its own, looking at such neurological conditions as the "alien hand syndrome." Numerous questions will be posed. For example, do the brains of left handers differ form those of right handers? Can the brain explain such concepts as right = good (e.g., righteousness) and left=bad (e.g., sinister). Do left or right brain lesions outside of the language areas alter the human personality? This seminar should be of particular interest to those students going into psychology or the medical neurosciences.
Section 301 - SEM
R 0130PM-0430PM