Mind Neuroscience Psychology

At Mind Matters News: People with half their brains removed do well on psych tests

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In a recent study, adults who had had hemispherectomies as children — to combat severe epilepsy — performed within 10% of other study subjects on face and word recognition:

In view of the claim we frequently hear that “the mind is just what the brain does,” it’s a remarkable fact that the forty study subjects who had half their brains removed are functional at all, never mind that they do less well than a control group with no similar background.

We are used to thinking of the brain as an organization with departments, some in the left brain and some in the right. But the brain may be more like an ocean so it is more complex than that. …

If neurosurgeon Michael Egnor is right, not only is the human mind not simply what the brain does but human consciousness, unlike a material thing, cannot be split. He should know because he must sometimes split brains, in order to improve the outlook for persons with epilepsy.

News, “People with half their brains removed do well on psych tests” at Mind Matters News (August 18, 2022)

Takehome: Findings like this are a challenge to those who insist that the mind is simply what the brain does. The mind may not be split or removed when the brain is.

You may also wish to read: Yes, split brains are weird, but not the way you think. Scientists who dismiss consciousness and free will ignore the fact that the higher faculties of the mind cannot be split even by splitting the brain in half. Patients after split-brain surgery are not split people. They feel the same, act the same, and think the same, for all intents and purposes. Materialists like Jerry Coyne focus on subtle differences and distort the big picture. (Michael Egnor)

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