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Sperry’s Split Brain Studies. A Key Study of the Biological Perspective. The Study. Hemisphere disconnection and unity in conscious awareness. Syllabus topic. The Brain: Localization of Function. Name of Researcher. Sperry 1968. Method. Case Study. Research Question.

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sperry s split brain studies

Sperry’s Split Brain Studies

A Key Study of the Biological Perspective

the study
The Study
  • Hemisphere disconnection and unity in conscious awareness
syllabus topic
Syllabus topic
  • The Brain: Localization of Function
  • Case Study
research question
Research Question
  • How does severing the corpus callosum change mental functioning and conscious awareness?

Our Divided Brain

  • The information highway from the eyes to the brain
independent variable
Independent Variable
  • Objects were presented to either the Right Hand or the Left Hand
  • Words shown to the Right Visual Field (RVF) or the Left Visual Field (LVF)
dependent variables
Dependent Variables
  • Participants asked to identify the object or select the object from a group of out of sight objects
  • Participants asked to identify the word either verbally or by pointing to a word

“What word

did you



“Point with

your left

hand to

the word

you saw.”

“Look at the dot.”

Two words separated

by red dot appear

projected in front of



  • a condition in which the two hemispheres of the brain are isolated by cutting the connecting fibers (mainly those of the corpus callosum) between them
  • Epilepsy patients who had undergone surgery to cut the corpus callosum
  • The two hemispheres have different abilities and functions
  • The RH processes information in a synthetic form i.e. seeing the big picture
  • The LH processes analytically i.e. bit by bit
  • Participants appeared to have two streams of consciousness
  • Unlike kidneys and lungs, the two hemispheres are an odd couple
strengths of the study
Strengths of the Study
  • Dramatic demonstration of hemispheric specialization
specialization of function
Right Brain

Visual and spatial skills

Controls left side of body

Receives visual signal from left side only

Specialization of Function
  • Left Brain
  • Language
  • Math calculation
  • Controls right side of body
  • Receives visual signals from right eye only.
weaknesses of the study
Weaknesses of the study
  • The Participants had suffered from epilepsy for years
  • The sample size was small and did not consist of children
  • Simplistic conclusions about specialization of function
key terms
Key Terms
  • Epilepsy
  • corpus callosum