Split-brain patients constitute a small subpopulation of epileptic patients who have received the surgical resection of the callosal fibers in an attempt to reduce the spread of epileptic foci between the cerebral hemispheres. The study of callosotomy patients allowed neuropsychologists to investigate the effects of the hemispheric disconnection, shedding more light on the perceptual and cognitive abilities of each hemisphere in isolation. This view that callosotomy completely isolates the hemispheres has now been revised, in favor of the idea of a dynamic functional reorganization of the two sides of the brain; however, the evidence collected from split-brain patients is still a milestone in the neurosciences. The right-hemispheric superiority found in the healthy population concerning face perception has been further supported with split-brains, and it has been shown that the right disconnected hemisphere appears superior to the left hemisphere in recognizing and processing faces with similar characteristics as the observers’ (e.g., gender, identity, etc.). Even more controversial is the field of hemispheric asymmetries for processing facial emotion, some evidence suggesting a right-hemispheric superiority for all emotions, some others showing a complementary hemispheric asymmetry depending on the positive or negative emotional valence. Although the practice of callosotomy is mostly abandoned today in favor of pharmacological alternatives, further studies on the remaining split-brain patients could help advance our understanding of hemispheric specialization for social stimuli.

Split-brain patients: Visual biases for faces

Giulia Prete
Primo
;
Luca Tommasi
Ultimo
2018-01-01

Abstract

Split-brain patients constitute a small subpopulation of epileptic patients who have received the surgical resection of the callosal fibers in an attempt to reduce the spread of epileptic foci between the cerebral hemispheres. The study of callosotomy patients allowed neuropsychologists to investigate the effects of the hemispheric disconnection, shedding more light on the perceptual and cognitive abilities of each hemisphere in isolation. This view that callosotomy completely isolates the hemispheres has now been revised, in favor of the idea of a dynamic functional reorganization of the two sides of the brain; however, the evidence collected from split-brain patients is still a milestone in the neurosciences. The right-hemispheric superiority found in the healthy population concerning face perception has been further supported with split-brains, and it has been shown that the right disconnected hemisphere appears superior to the left hemisphere in recognizing and processing faces with similar characteristics as the observers’ (e.g., gender, identity, etc.). Even more controversial is the field of hemispheric asymmetries for processing facial emotion, some evidence suggesting a right-hemispheric superiority for all emotions, some others showing a complementary hemispheric asymmetry depending on the positive or negative emotional valence. Although the practice of callosotomy is mostly abandoned today in favor of pharmacological alternatives, further studies on the remaining split-brain patients could help advance our understanding of hemispheric specialization for social stimuli.
2018
9780128146729
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/696861
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