Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

2011 Edition
| Editors: Sam Goldstein, Jack A. Naglieri

Split Brain

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79061-9_2771



“Split Brain” is a term used to describe an early method of severing the corpus callosum and separating the two hemispheres of the brain. This was done to reduce the spread of seizures. Following this procedure differences were found between the left and right side of the brain; most of this research is attributed to Sperry [1].


Split brain is a relatively rare situation which is usually the result of all other options being exhausted in attempting to control epilepsy and epileptic seizures. It involves the severing of a dense group of nerve fibers which connect the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Agenesis of the corpus callosum is often congenital and is secondary to a malformation that following surgical severing seems to provide clearer left-right differences. The result of having a split brain is typically the inability to name an object that is presented within the left visual field due to the information...

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    Sperry, R. W. (1961). Cerebral organization and behavior. Science, 133, 1749–1757.PubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Sperry, R. W. (1980). Mind-brain interaction: Mentalism, yes; dualism, no. Neuroscience, 5, 195–206.PubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Sperry, R. W., Vogel, P. J., & Bogen, J. E. (1970). Syndrome of hemisphere deconnection. In P. Bailey & R. E. Foil (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2nd Pan-American congress of neurology (pp. 195–200). Puerto Rico.Google Scholar
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    Turk, D. J., Handy, T. C., & Gazzaniga, M. S. (2005). Can perceptual expertise account for the own-race bias in face recognition? A split-brain study. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 22(7), 877–883.PubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Zillmer, E. A., Spiers, M. V., & Culbertson, W. C. (2008). Principles of neuropsychology. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth Press.Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyDePauw UniversityGreencastleUSA