brain localization

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I always thought it lovely that people use the most sophisticated technology available in their era and try to describe the brain with it.  A steam engine for Freud.  A computer for the moderns.  Everyone acknowledging that the brain is more complex than anything they can possibly describe.

Sometimes you have to simplify things in order to use a concept.  I always had trouble with this “left brain/right brain” thing.  People have laterality.  They have dominant sides. I am right handed.  Minor medical problems show up on the left side of my body a little more readily.

View of the brain's two lobes - left and rightMy brother of blessed memory, who had Asperger’s syndrome, was diagnosed early on as having an “ambivalent” mind and a laterality problem by an overzealous school headmaster who really believed he had seen it all.  My mother of blessed memory suddenly “remembered” something which I had never heard before, about my brother having tried to write with his left hand, and her thinking it was a bad thing, and trying to make him write with his right hand. My guess is it was an epiphenomenon of the Asperger’s maybe, but dear Harry’s problems obviously went a lot deeper than laterality.

I remember reading some of the “split brain” experiments, stories of poor folks who had a disconnect between the right and left parts of their brain.  Coming up with words to describe things they saw in their left cortical visual fields, coming up with pictures they could describe in their right visual fields. Read more on Left Brain/Right Brain…

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