Reply To: Hemispherectomy in Adults

  • Luke Haskett

    March 1, 2024 at 5:24 pm

    Hi Whit,

    There’s a lot of food for thought in what you write and I appreciate the consideration. I have myself pondered this wider point myself often – that being, the extent to which the neuroscience and the philosophy should literally coincide or whether the metaphor stands irrespective of the empirical data. To me, the great strength of his work is the vast and substantial amount of empirical data that is knitted together to form the whole. It is also very compelling to be able to refer to healthy ways of being and thinking and feeling by explicit reference to the very structure of the brain itself. In it’s essence, the fact that the holding of contradiction might be built into that structure, metaphorically and literally, is why i keep returning to Iain’s work.

    My feeling is this paper/work on hemispherectomy in adults should fit within the hypothesis as much as any of the other data, of which there is abundant amounts, that concerns hemisphere functioning. This procedure is fascinating at the very least and I don’t remember it being referred to in Iain’s work? I see these rare patients as offering yet more evidence, distinct from split brain patients, that might inform our understanding.

    My suspicion is the tests performed on these patients before and after are exceedingly basic and do not capture more sophisticated cognitive and emotional deficits.

    Thanks again for your thoughts. It is in itself, I think, quite remarkable if our brains are able to move all meaningful functions over to one hemisphere in the event of catastrophic unilateral epilepsy, regardless of which side has it.