Split Brain Research (page 2)
- This project will take you on a mission. You have now been given the role of a newspaper reporter. You have entered the Time Machine and have been transported back into the year 1960. You have just learned about the work of Dr Roger Sperry and DR. Michael Gazzaniga at Caltech. Your newspaper has assigned you to cover the story of Split Brain Surgery. Your task, should you decide to accept it is to research this new surgery and write an article informing the public of what was done, why it was done, what actually happened, what was really unexpected, how did they discover the unexpected and did all of this have any real, practical implications for our health and well being?
- To prepare for your assignment, review the bibliography provided on the following page. The Brain by Dr. Richard Restak is a great beginning. The Mind by Anthony Smith is a good follow up. In addition to these readings, use the Internet and watch the movies made of split brain patients. Keep in mind as you watch that the hemispheres of the brain in their cases are cut and cannot communicate so that what they see and what they say does not match although they try very hard to cover it up! Take notes as you watch the movies so that you can describe the fascinating parts to your reading audience.
- They tell us that a picture is worth a thousand words so you may wish to copy photos or illustrations of a split brain and how it does and doesn`t work as well as split brain tests. Your editor has agreed to insert them if you do.
- Having visited the 1960s, you will now return in the Time Machine to 2010-2011 and catch up with the current research. What have we learned since the 1960`s about the brain and how have we improved our tre aments in epilepsy and where are our neuroscientists headed now. Any new instrumentation?
- At this point, you may wish to investigate the organizations involved in combating epilepsy and study their brochures as to the assistance the public can render for this cause. In addition, you may wish to interview families who were confronted with the disease and insert pieces of their stories.
- It is time to write your newspaper piece. Write it as if you were speaking to a group of people who were interested in this unique phenomenon. At the close make certain to mention the foundations and agencies that need volunteers or contributions.
- Proof read and spell check your article. You may wish to test it by reading it to a few friends for their reactions. Make certain to include your references and use your quotation marks when using other people`s comments and phrases. Beware of plagiarism.
- Now, back to your project. Include all that you have done on your display board. Make certain to have your bibliography available as well as any materials you acquired at the foundations and agencies. Congratulations! Your mission has been accomplished!
Terms/Concepts: Brain; Cerebrum; Left hemisphere; Right hemisphere; Corpus callosum; Epilepsy; Stroke; Split brain patients; Callosotomy
- Restack, R., the Brain, Bantam Books, New York, 1984
- Smith, A. The Mind, the Viking Press, 1984
- Hawkins, J & Blakeslee, S., Times Books, 2004
- Pinker, S How the Mind Works, WWW Norton &Co, New York, 1997
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.