Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dyslexia, stuttering, etc. down simply to bandwidth of left-right connection?

A split-brain individual throws down the newspaper that he's holding in one hand while reading with the other hemisphere--in an anecdote you may have read in a recent New Yorker profile of neurophilosophers Pat and Paul Churchland. To throw it down actually seems like the "natural" response to me--i.e. like the "menace" response by which neurologists and anestheticists gauge how conscious you are or how much "brain function" you retain; and maybe as in "Get this &^#%* out of my face!" That response would need inhibiting while you're reading, and the inhibition would have to come from the hemisphere that's actually reading. It would need to be a continuous and quick inhibition too--you don't want to be caught reading the ingredients of a box that's falling on you, or reading every symbol on the face of the enemy tribesman. So to delay or desync one hemisphere relative to the other seems like a recipe for just that kind of reading experience. And while I'm no neurosurgeon, severing the fat pipe that links the left hemisphere to the right seems like a recipe for just that sort of desynching. Not to mention all the evidence linking handedness, hemisphere separation and temporal delays with dyslexia, stuttering, autism and other diagnoses in the learning-disability category. But does anybody point to a person's corpus callosum or suggest that diversity of bandwidth might explain language learning problems?


Postscript: Yes!
(I will rederive the whole of human knowledge from first principles! Who needs Google?)

2 comments:

t.s. said...

If I can't follow this paragraph, does that suggest some sort of brain injury?

Murky Thoughts said...

Inbutidably. O.K., maybe not my most engaging idea ever, but that doesn't mean it's not special.