Split brain explainer video: You Are Two

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Dr. Fredric Schiffer describes a theory of dual-brain psychology in his book, “Of Two Minds” (published in 1999). Anyone interested in understanding the dynamic of the complicated relationship between the personalities of the left and right hemispheres will find this book interesting.

Of course, Julian Jaynes’s “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” covers similar territory.


I learned quite a long time ago the whole right-brain-left-brain thing is horribly overblown and amounts to little more than pop psychology. Certainly all the amazing “techniques” making use of this amazing phenomenon are balderdash.

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Assuming this is correct, binary vision (3D depth perception) would not work at all for these people too? As one eye per brain half.

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No, it’s actually one half of visual field per brain half. Each hemisphere receives inputs from both eyes, like this:

Corpus callosum is only the “highest level” linkage between the two sides of the neural system. There are plenty of other crossovers, including the optic chiasm, going all the way down to the bottom of the spinal cord.


Indeed. The Explainer video is completely incorrect when it says that “Right brain sees and controls one half while left brain controls and sees the other.” Both halves see information from both eyes. That’s why, in the second video, the real life corpus callosotomy patient is in that contrived experiment where he stares at the dot in the center of the screen and the images only flash to one side for a brief second. Only in that situation does only one half of the brain receive visual input.

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Crumbs, thats something i didn’t know before. Always just assumed the optic nerves were entirely separate. :slight_smile:

I have wildly differing focal lengths in each eye and as glasses gave me such headaches when young, i refused to wear them. End result i do not have functional stereo (3D) vision. I use my left eye for close up and my right for distance but never both at once.
I’d always assumed that my brain just uses the best single eye depending on the distance things away are… Could it be i only really use half of each eye at once and just move my head around to focus on things a bit more?

I may also be over-thinking it, but this is interesting!
EDIT: yes over-thinking / stupid thinking a little :wink: With differing focus in each eye and each eye split, the image processing would be split over each brain half but still use one eye at a time only, so it would make sense me not having working stereo vision.


“My name is Legion, for we are many.”


The TED talk by Jill Bolt Taylor who had a stroke in the left hemisphere described a phenomenon not mentioned here. The two hemispheres process information differently which Jill experienced as she was trying to call for help.

The left half where the damage occurred had trouble calling someone on the phone because she couldn’t see phone numbers or process things sequentially very well. The right half was amazed at all the information she was taking in around her but never noticed like the card that had her colleague’s phone number.

My take away from this is that some people I know process information more “intuitively”, seeming to “grok” something all at once. While, I, take things one step at a time, in sequence. Sometimes, I’ll look at something and say “I need to do that” without knowing how or why, but it worked when I did it that way.

This article doesn’t touch on this aspect of the hemispheres.


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