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Consciousness and Commissurotomy: II. Some Pertinencies for Intact Functioning

Thomas Natsoulas
The Journal of Mind and Behavior
Vol. 9, No. 4 (Autumn 1988), pp. 515-547
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43853461
Page Count: 33
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Consciousness and Commissurotomy: II. Some Pertinencies for Intact Functioning
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Abstract

Study of the consciousness of commissurotomized people may enlighten us with regard to consciousness more generally. Researchers in this area have addressed, for example, the general problem of the unity of conscious experience. They have proposed various means by which such unity is accomplished, based on their observations of commissurotomized people. Some of these means are (a) a verbal-conceptual consciousness system that unifies by making the individual (or cerebral hemisphere) consciously aware and spinning out interpretations, (b) the transmission of information from each cerebral hemisphere to the other via subcortical pathways, (c) the duplication or equalization of processes between cerebral hemispheres by means of the forebrain commissures, and (d) the production of a single stream of consciousness per intact human being in a tripartite structure that includes a part of each cerebral hemisphere and the forebrain commissures.

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