Left/right brain integration

Matthew J. Hoptman, Ph.D. hoptmm01 at popmail.med.nyu.edu
Fri Dec 6 19:48:49 EST 1996

Kevin Spencer wrote:
> A problem with comparing split-brain patients to neurologically-intact
> persons is reorganization of the "split" brains.  The patterns of
> hemispheric interaction after callosotomy are likely to be quite different
> than before the operation.  The subcortical interhemispheric pathways
> may pick up some of the slack that the callosum would have handled (not
> nearly as much though).
> Kevin
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> Kevin Spencer
> Cognitive Psychophysiology Laboratory and Beckman Institute
> University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
> kspencer at p300.cpl.uiuc.edu
> -----------------------------------------------------------
Point well taken, Kevin,
   The key is to find converging evidence.  This is rare in the field of
interhemispheric interaction.  However, there is a good deal of data
showing disruptions of interhemispheric interaction in children with
certain kinds of dyslexia (e.g., Davidson, Leslie, & Saron, 1990;
Davidson & Saron, 1992).  The advantage of these studies is that they
have assessed interhemispheric interaction rather than callosal anatomy.
	One of the big problems in the area is that there is little information
on the functional significance of variations in callosal anatomy in
normals or otherwise.  As we discuss in our review article (Hoptman &
Davidson, 1994), some studies show relations such that a larger callosum
is associated with better function (e.g., Yazgan et al. 1995), whereas
some studies (especially by Hellige's and Zaidel's groups) show the
reverse.  The corpus callosum is an extremely heterogeneous structure
and a lot more work will be needed in this area.

-- Matt Hoptman
Nathan Kline Research Institute
Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center
Ward's Island, NY 10035
My opinions are my own and not those of NKI.

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