Two Brains, One Mind
More than thirty years ago a dramatic study was conducted on patients seeking liberation from the debilitating effects of daily epileptic seizures. The patients consented to a radical surgery that severed the connection between the two hemispheres of the brain. Although the surgeons knew they were splitting the brain, it was later research that demonstrated that in doing so, they split the mind as well.
For example, in post-operative experiments, if an image was projected only to the right eye, the patients could describe what they saw. But when the same image was displayed to the left eye, the patients drew a blank: they said they didn’t see anything. Yet if they were asked to point to an object similar to the one being projected, they could do so with ease. The right brain saw the image and could convey a nonverbal response, but it simply couldn’t talk about what it saw. The same kind of finding proved true for touch, smell and sound, and each hemisphere of the brain was demonstrated to control movement in the opposite side of the body. Ultimately, the scientists discovered that the two hemispheres control vastly different aspects of thought and action. Each half has its own specialization — the left brain is dominant for language and speech. The right excels at visual-motor tasks. The language of these findings has become part of our culture: engineers refer to themselves as “left-brained,” visual artists as “right-brained.” These ground-breaking experiments demonstrated that removing the link between the two hemispheres of the brain produces two separate, conscious minds!
While scientific discovery informs us that each of us possesses two, separate and independent conscious
brains linked by a superhighway of neurons, every one of us, linked in the body of Christ, is of one mind: “I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment” (ICor. 1:10).
Informed by and adapted from “The Split Brain Revisited.”