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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
method
Method
  • Case Study
research question
Research Question
  • How does severing the corpus callosum change mental functioning and conscious awareness?
slide9

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
slide12

“What word

did you

see?”

or

“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

person.

Example

  • 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
participants
Participants
  • Epilepsy patients who had undergone surgery to cut the corpus callosum
conclusions
Conclusions
  • 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