Daily Archives: Monday, April 3, 2017

Split brains do not lead to split consciousnesses

A split brains do not lead to split consciousnessesI have written about the mind-brain problem and the hard problem of consciousness on this blog a number of times. There are people who deny these are problems (e.g. Daniel Dennett) and purport that there are purely material explanations even though those explanations do not exist and there is a preponderance of evidence against them. This surely seems to me to be flat-earth quality thinking. A new study out of University of Amsterdam that shows a single consciousness for a split brain reinforces the idea that mind-brain dualism is real. Here is an excerpt from an article about the study that gets right to the point:

A new research study contradicts the established view that so-called split-brain patients have a split consciousness. Instead, the researchers behind the study, led by UvA psychologist Yair Pinto, have found strong evidence showing that despite being characterised by little to no communication between the right and left brain hemispheres, split brain does not cause two independent conscious perceivers in one brain. Their results are published in the latest edition of the journal Brain.

It is an interesting article and I am looking forward to seeing how Pinto’s research proceeds. A separate quote from an article over at Uncommon Descent on the topic is even more clear:

According to Pinto, the results present clear evidence for unity of consciousness in split-brain patients. ‘The established view of split-brain patients implies that physical connections transmitting massive amounts of information are indispensable for unified consciousness, i.e. one conscious agent in one brain. Our findings, however, reveal that although the two hemispheres are completely insulated from each other, the brain as a whole is still able to produce only one conscious agent. This directly contradicts current orthodoxy and highlights the complexity of unified consciousness.’ Paper. (paywall) – Split brain: divided perception but undivided consciousness Yair Pinto David A. Neville Marte Otten Paul M. Corballis Victor A. F. Lamme Edward H. F de Haan Nicoletta Foschi Mara Fabri More.