Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Dungarees & Split Brains

Boater hat + overalls = farmer girl(?) Maybe just a little bit. Not that there's anything wrong with that! I have to say that I don't ever want to take this new wig off, though. I love the colour and the curls, and the subtle gradient. One day, this will be my real hair. It's slowly (slowly!) getting there!

blouse - c/o EFoxCity
wig - c/o Milanoo
overalls - Thrifted in Japan (Wego)
hat - c/o Wholesale
necklace - Claire's (Japan)

I figured that a good way to study for my upcoming exams would be to teach you guys some of the interesting stuff I've learnt this year. So in honour of a neuroscience exam I have today, I'm going to talk about split-brain patients.

In order to cure debilitating epileptic fits in the mid-20th Century (and what is still used as a treatment in the most severe cases, when nothing else can be done), a technique was developed in neurosurgery to cut the connection between the two hemispheres of the brain - entirely cutting the millions of nerve fibres that allow both sides of your brain to communicate with one another. This type of surgery was generally seen as a success - patients seemed to regain normal function and no longer suffer from terrible seizures.

However, because this was such a radical altering of the brain's structure, psychologists wanted to know if these "split-brain" patients differed in any way from people whose brain was more properly connected. And a clever experiment demonstrated that the two halves of the brain could operate independently from one another, and also gave rise to important questions about consciousness.
Look at the image above. When split-brain patients are asked to say what they see in the image (when staring at the + only), they will say they only saw a heart. 
But if then asked to draw what they saw with their left hand, they will draw a star.
When asked why they drew a star, rather than a heart, they will have no idea why - because they don't consciously recall  "seeing" a star.

Crazy, right?

So what the right side of your body does is controlled by the left side of your brain, and vice versa. Also, everything from the left side of your visual field is interpreted by the right side of your brain, and vice versa.
The "split brain" phenomenon described above occurs because the left side of the brain is where the language centres of the brain are located (both of your hemispheres have most brain functions, but language is one of the few that is only found on one side of the brain). The right side of the brain, on the other hand, has no areas for processing and generating language.

So what is happening here, in "split brain" patients, is that information from the left side of the visual field is sent to the right side of the brain - which has no words for "star" because it has no language centre. But although it can't speak, it can draw. So it sends signals back to the left hand, and the left hand draws a star.

Of course, this brings up the interesting question of whether you can be truly "conscious" without language. Remember, the split-brain patients don't consciously remember seeing a star because the right-side of their brain doesn't have a word for it - and so is "consciousness" a product of language?

By the way, the idea that you are either "right-brained" or "left-brained", and that being "left-brained" means you are analytical and logical, and "right-brained" means you're emotional and artsy, is total crap. You use all your brain, both halves of it.
You are your whole brain. :)

p.s. I announced a $100 giveaway yesterday - check it out here if you haven't seen it!

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  1. the split brain thingy is really interesting.
    i'm going to do some googling now...

  2. Maeve Elizabeth4 June 2013 at 19:24

    Possibly the cutest outfit I have ever seen. I have been looking for a pair of cute overalls for basically forever, they are probably my dream piece of clothing! ^_^

    Maeve xx

  3. OMG you're so pretty!
    Love your wig and your necklace.

    xoxo, Kloélicious


  4. Aw these overalls are so cutely looking on you [[: I love this outfit

  5. This look is so cute!!Love your style...
    I would love if we follow each other blog :)
    Please check out my blog and let me know if you want.


  6. LOVE the outfit! and the blog :) glad I found yours, loving the wig, if you get your hair white I have a DIY pastel hair tutorial on my blog <3



  7. cool stuff! thanks! love reading your tidbits:)

  8. You look adorable. Prettiest darn farmer girl I ever did see! And I always forget which side of the brain is supposedly for which traits (I'm kind of a mix of everything, kind of), so I'm glad to know it's total malarkey!

    xox Sammi

  9. such a cute outfit, and your wig has the prettiest colours in it, i love the dark underneath it really make it look full and thick down the bottom. and i love your little science tidbits too, this was so interesting! i wouldn't have thought it could be a successful operation to just split the brain, but apparently it works just fine.

    little henry lee

  10. as someone with epilepsy that was very interesting!

  11. those shorteralls are so cute and i love the top as well! really awesome look!

    Rebecca @ tr[i]b[e]cca

  12. i love your jumper and dungarees! the sciency part of the post is also so interesting! i love learning about how we function and our brains never cease to amaze me. totally going to go and share my new found knowledge with everyone haha




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