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May 24, 1995

The Neurological Boundaries of Reality

Author Affiliations

Englewood, Colo

JAMA. 1995;273(20):1626-1627. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520440080047

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A man whose intractable seizures were treated by severing the fibers connecting the halves of his brain sits in front of a machine that projects pictures to one visual field or the other. He easily names objects flashed on the right screen and received in his left, speaking hemisphere, but he can't name simple shapes shown on the left screen and transmitted to his right, mute hemisphere.

A swastika flashes on the left and the man recoils.

"What is that you just showed me!" What do you think it was, asked the experimenter. He replied, "A terrible thing, an awful thing." You did not like it, stated the experimenter. "No, I didn't," he replied, shaking his head. Was it a good thing or a bad one, probed the experimenter (who did not anticipate strong reactions to any of the items in the set). "Bad, very bad," replied the patient. He

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