Michael Gazzaniga's Reputation

Todd I. Stark stark at dwovax.enet.dec.com
Thu Oct 21 15:45:11 EST 1993

"Richard E. Cytowic MD" <p00907 at psilink.com> writes...
>  I heard the following today from a well-known scientist at NIH: "Mike 
>Gazzaniga spends a lot of time insisting that he co-discovered the 
>split-brain theory."  Quite an indictment.
>	I always thought it was Roger Sperry and Ron Meyers, with Joe 
>Bogen doing a lot of the early human surgery, and that Gazzaniga was a 
>graduate student who joined the bandwagen long after it got rolling.
>	The Question is: was he or wasn't he a "co-discoverer?" Is he 
>embroidering his role in history as the emminent NIH-er suggests [name 
>later], or is this poison politics?
>	Knowledgeable comments appreciated.

Not bearing any claim myself to being knowledgeable, but having an interest 
in the subject, if you could narrow down what 'split brain theory' exactly he 
claims to have discovered, the matter may become a simple matter of 
checking the publication dates on the pertinent papers.  Or did I misunderstand
your question ?

It seems to me that Gazzaniga is generally (or at least popularly) associated 
with the development of particular early theories of brain functional 
modularity, especially related to the speculative relationships between 
language generation and language interpretation, but of course
not the initial discovery of hemispheric differences (eg. gross vs. fine motor 
coordination speciallization, spatial processing specialization, etc.),
which as far as I can tell are still not all adequately described by a single
coherent and unambiguous theory (?).

Btw, do you cover hemisphere specialization much in your recent book ?
And do you go into any detail on psychosomatic effects as they may or may
not correlate with synesthetic experience ?

						kind regards,

| Todd I. Stark				  stark at dwovax.enet.dec.com           |
| Digital Equipment Corporation		             (215) 542-3573           |
| Philadelphia, Pa. USA                                                       |
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