Understanding the Fascinating World of Split-Brain Syndrome

Have you ever wondered about the concept of split-brain syndrome? You may have come across it in various pop culture references or even heard about it in psychology classes. However, split-brain is much more than a mere term – it is a medical condition that affects a person’s ability to function effectively. In this article, we will delve into the subject of split-brain syndrome, including the symptoms, effects, and theories surrounding it.

What is Split-Brain Syndrome?

Split-brain is a neurological condition that results from the cutting of the corpus callosum, the band of fibers that connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The procedure is referred to as a “corpus callosotomy” and is done as a treatment for epilepsy. It involves the cutting of the corpus callosum to reduce the spread of seizures between the two hemispheres.

Understanding the Gazzaniga Split-Brain Experiment

The split-brain syndrome was discovered in the 1960s, thanks to a series of experiments conducted by Dr. Michael Gazzaniga and colleagues. During their studies, they found that by cutting the corpus callosum, they could create an opportunity to observe the two hemispheres’ behavior separately. They used stimuli, such as words and images, presented to either the left or right visual field to generate varied responses from the two hemispheres.

What Can Split-Brain Patients Not Do?

When a person has split-brain syndrome, it’s like they have two separate brains, each controlling its side of the body. Here are specific examples of what split-brain patients cannot do:

  • They cannot identify images shown in the left visual field accurately. The left hemisphere doesn’t process imagery from the left side of the body. But, it can match the image with a corresponding object on the right side of the body.
  • When split-brain patients are shown an image in their right visual field, the information goes to the left hemisphere, thus enabling them to name the object or picture. However, when the same image is presented in the left visual field (which is connected to the right hemisphere), the patient will not be able to name the object with words.

Split-Brain Effects

Split-brain syndrome has a profound impact on affected individuals’ lives. One such effect is the limited ability to perform tasks that are coordinated between the two hemispheres, such as writing or drawing. For example, when asked to draw a picture using both hands, a split-brain patient might create two entirely different pictures simultaneously, one with each hand, instead of one cohesive illustration.

Split-Brain Symptoms

Split-brain symptoms vary from person to person based on the severity of the condition. Here are some of the most common symptoms observed in individuals with split-brain syndrome:

  • Difficulty naming objects presented in the left visual field.
  • Reduced ability to perform tasks that require the coordination of both sides of the body.
  • Poor problem-solving skills because the two hemispheres cannot work together to solve complex problems.
  • Unusual behavior such as the tendency to use the left side of the body more than the right side.

Split-Brain Theory

The split-brain theory suggests that the two hemispheres of the brain perform different functions and, without the corpus callosum, can act independently. The left hemisphere is responsible for logical thinking, language processing, and analytical reasoning, while the right hemisphere is responsible for creativity, emotion, and imagination.

Split-Brain Psychology Example

One famous split-brain psychology example involves a man who felt a deep sense of conflict after his corpus callosotomy. His right hemisphere was religious, while his left hemisphere was an atheist. The two hemispheres would argue with each other, leading to internal conflicts.

What is the Behavior of a Split-Brain?

Split-brain patients’ behavior differs from that of neurotypical individuals. In many cases, their movement may appear awkward and disorganized. They may also exhibit unusual behavior, such as using their left hand to perform tasks that they once used their right hand for, and vice versa.


In conclusion, split-brain syndrome is a neurological condition that affects people who have had their corpus callosum severed. The condition is rare, with only a few cases recorded worldwide. Although it can have adverse effects on the patient’s quality of life, it provides an insight into how the brain works and the crucial role the corpus callosum plays in communication between the hemispheres. We hope this article has helped elucidate the concept of split-brain syndrome and how it affects individuals.