Today we begin a series of VERITAS on the mysteries of the human brain. This series would span several months and you will see several VERITAS on other topics in this time too.
Today’s VERITAS is inspired by the book “The Dragons of Eden” written by Carl Sagan.
Have you ever got this feeling that you recognise a face but you cannot describe it in words. Or you can recall the words in a song only by singing it. Do you know that people who stammer never stammer while singing ?
Epilepsy is caused when an electric storm starts in one hemisphere of the brain and travels to the other hemisphere … comes back to the
first and becomes self sustaining. A scientist named Sperry thought of an idea: Why not cut the corpus callosum ( connections between the
hemispheres) and then the epilepy causing electric storms would be contained. Sperry tried this in a set of patients having severe epilepsy
and the epileptic shocks ceased. Wonderful experiment. Cutting the corpus callosum SEEMED to cause no side effects in the patients.
But then Sperry examined his patients in a deeper way and found something astounding. The lack of communication between the two hemispheres had some profound consequences: Such spilt brain patients talk about their feelings and emotions a lot less than normal. THis is because speech is located in the left hemi and the emotions in the right.
Using some techniques Sperry showed the patients the word HAT BAND but he made sure that the right hemisphere could only see
the word HAT and the left hemisphere could only see BAND. After this the patient was asked to speak what he saw. The patients said BAND.
They could not say HAT. However the left hand could write the word HAT without problems.
The patients were shown some geometrical objects and were asked to draw with both hands. The left hand could draw the pictures well ( the drawings were horrible but the main idea was correct). The right hand could not draw the basic picture right. It drew a sphere as a square.
They also discovered that the logical left brain is paranoid about the future. It plans for the future all the time. The right brain is a happier person and just thinks about the present, It is more optimistic.
Carl Sagan says that the left hemisphere(logical hemisphere) is constantly controlling the instinctive right hemisphere. However when we sleep and the left hemisphere is organising data collected during the day, the right hemisphere is free to do its wishful thinking in the form of dreams .
We dream about all sorts of things. But we cannot do any logical thinking in dreams and we cannot speak.
Now when we dream there is always two of us… the main character in the dream and another smaller character who just watches the dream. This smaller character will sometimes tell you ” It is only a dream” . The main character is the right brain doing its wishful thinking and the left brain is the smaller watcher who would sometimes put its logic by telling you that ” it is a dream” .
Enjoy your brain(s) Kanwar |======================================================|
Go, wondrous creature! mount where Science guides:
Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides:
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Correct old time and regulate the Sun;