Severing the Corpus Collosum and How It Affects Behavior


The corpus collosum is a thick segment in the middle of the brain that connects the two halves of the brain together, allowing them to communicate with each other. In some medical cases, usually to control extreme seizures, this connection, as well as a smaller segment closer to the anterior of the brain, is cut. Because the brain halves cannot communicate with each other, it is seen under specific experiments that the individual has two completely independent, fully functioning brains. It is a fascinating phenomenon, and one that allows scientists to better understand how the brain processes information.

What I think would be interesting to study is how these people react less with words and images, and more on music. This clip was presented in my brain and behavior class I took this past semester. For my paper, I did a bit of research into how music affects the brain and how our brains process music. When it all boiled down to it, I came away with the conclusion that we have no idea what’s really going on. However, scientists have noticed that certain aspects of music, such as pitch, rhythm, and lyrics are all processed in completely different areas of the brain, and in order to fully understand and listen to a piece of music, both halves in constant communication with each other are needed. How does this man and others with a severed corpus collosum react to music? What kind of aphasia would they experience, if any? I went through many books on music and the brain. None of them covered anything even remotely close to this subject.


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