The human brain is the most evolved brain in the entire animal kingdom. It is also the most complex organ of the body and the scientists are still studying it for its various effects and disorders. Our brain has two hemispheres and each hemisphere is responsible for a certain set of tasks. Both the hemispheres work in tandem by communicating with each other via a nerve bundle. The most common brain disorder that causes severe discomfort is seizures.
Seizures can be treated with medications, but if the epileptic activity continues, then as a last resort, a surgery is performed, which leads usually leads to another set of problems.
How the surgery helps the patients?
The split brain surgery is a surgery in which the corpus callosum, a bridge of nerves that connects the two hemispheres of the brain is severed. This nerve bundle helps the two hemispheres communicate with each other and process information that we take in during the day. Corpus Callosum is a bundle of nerves that connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain and their job is to transfer data from one hemisphere to another. Each of the hemispheres has control over some tasks that our body performs. How the tasks are divided amongst the hemispheres is still unknown to science. But as a thumb rule, the left side of the brain is responsible for analytical tasks like calculations and reading. The right hemisphere, however is better at reading a map or depth perception. Both the hemispheres usually work in tandem, communicating via the corpus callosum.
Doctors found out that severing this nerve bundle resulted in a complete stoppage of seizures in patient and all the symptoms of seizures also ended. But doctors who performed this surgery on patients, also found something that changed the behavior of patient drastically.
What is Split brain syndrome?
What the doctors found out was when the nerve bundle was severed; the patient began showing some interesting and peculiar behavior. The each hemisphere of the brain started behaving as a separate entity. This condition is known as callosal disconnection syndrome or the split brain syndrome. It is a psychological condition that can be identified by damage and/or severing of the corpus callosum. Researchers Michael Gazzaniga and Roger Sperry studied some patients of split brain syndrome and found some interesting cases. In one case a boy developed speech centers in both hemispheres which led him to answer differently to the same question. On being ask what he wants to become when he grows up, his right side answered race car driver and left side answered draftsman. Another patient had to keep his left hand from hitting his wife. Take a look at this video to find out what happens to a person who has split brain syndrome.