Just a little video (actually rather a long 10 minute one!) because Plutonium199 mentioned the corpus callosum in answer to a question on a previous post about the brain.
The corpus callosum is the part of the brain that enables the right and left hemispheres to communicate. If it is damaged or removed (for example as a treatment for severe epilepsy) then the two halves of the brain cannot share information. In everyday situations this is not a great problem because the right eye (sending information to the left hemisphere) and the left eye (sending information to the right hemisphere) gather all the relevant data and keep both sides of the brain fully informed. However, in a laboratory, it is possible to send different pieces of information to either side of the brain. Since the different hemispheres have quite different capabilities, some interesting research can be done.
This documentary is quite old now. The presenter is the actor Alan Alda who was in a long running comedy TV series MASH as a wise-cracking doctor serving in the Korean War. You don’t need to know this but to everyone he interviews he is mega-famous!
But then I continued my research and, of course, the popular science in the previous video is only part of the story. I found another, somewhat overwhelming, example from the RSA. It is an excerpt from a lecture by Iain McGilchrist (a psychiatrist and author) and it has been beautifully animated so that you are bombarded with information. At times I was looking at the pictures and at other times I was listening to the words. If it is a topic that interests you then I would suggest that you read it/watch it through several times. If none of this interests you at all then very well done for reading this far. You are a remarkable human being. Why not just skip ahead to the questions which will only be partly related to the corpus callosum.
- What sort of nerve carries signals to the brain?
- Which neurons carry messages from the brain to muscles?
- What are the Nodes of Ranvier?
- Which part of the brain controls breathing and blood pressure?
- Which part of the limbic system is chiefly responsible for emotions such as fear?