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December 1962

The Split-Brain: A New Approach to the Study of Behavior

Arch Ophthalmol. 1962;68(6):719-720. doi:10.1001/archopht.1962.00960030723001

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The oft-quoted aphorism "Two heads are better than one" now appears to have a corollary, viz., "Each head contains two brains." The fact is being put to good use in the study of brain function and behavior. In the past, the correlation of a pattern of behavior with a specific cerebral structure has depended in great part on studying the behavior of the animal before and after the ablation of a portion of the brain. Such an approach is difficult for several reasons. It is necessary to produce bilateral symmetrical cerebral lesions to demonstrate a change in cognitive (learned) behavior. Bilateral lesions are technically difficult to produce and often interfere with vital functions necessary for survival. At best the animal is often left with incapacitating deficits in sensory and/or motor function. Once the bilateral lesion has been produced, it is of course irreversible. The comparison of behavior before and after

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