Cerebral Hemispheres : Connection And Separation

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Cerebral hemispheres: connection and separation
The human brain is divided in two different symmetrical parts, the hemispheres, which are connected by the corpus callosum – this connection enables us to engage in higher cognitive processes (Rogers, Zucca & Vallortigara, 2004). Evolution provided us with the capacity to benefit from lateralization, allowing us to perform well while involved in two completely different tasks simultaneously. Furthermore, the plasticity of the brain makes it easy to thrive in extreme situations, such as having the two hemispheres disconnected or even having one hemisphere removed. In such cases the nervous tissue will adapt itself and reach its maximum potential, so that the person can survive and retain consciousness. This ability is more pronounced in children, in which the reorganization of the cerebral cortex after traumatic surgeries such as hemispherectomy is an indication of the possibility of recovery and cognition with just half of the brain.
Scientific interest on the two hemispheres had a peak in the last half of the 20th century, when patients undergoing a corpus callosostomy were tested to understand more about their condition. Corpus callosostomy is a brain surgery practiced on patients suffering from intractable epilepsy and consists in severing the corpus callosum. This causes the two hemispheres to be disconnected but not unconscious, in fact patients appeared healthy from a psychological point of view (Marinsek, Gazzaniga &
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