Conjoined Twins and Split Brain Patients discussion

Question Description

Discussion 1: Conjoined Twins and Split Brain Patients

As often is the case in science, the study of unique phenomenon can provide a wealth of knowledge and information about normal occurrences. This is true with regard to case studies of both split brain patients and conjoined twins. The unique experiences of these patients have contributed a great deal to our understanding of how the brain functions in a range of both normal and extraordinary circumstances.

Split brain patients are people who have had surgery to cut the corpus callosum, which you may recall, is the main pathway connecting the two halves of the cortex. Often this procedure was done to alleviate symptoms of epilepsy. These patients acted normal enough so that for the first few years after such surgeries were performed, physicians reported that there were no consequences of the procedure. Over the years, however, careful behavioral studies revealed that these patients appeared to have two minds at work in one body. One mind, mediated by the left hemisphere, could talk and respond to questions, while the other mind, in the right hemisphere, could only communicate by gestures and action. Remarkably, the left brain seemed to be unaware that another mind controlled half of the body.

In the case of dicephalic parapagus conjoined twins, (twins who share a body but have separate brains) it is clear that there are two minds because there are two separate brains and each of them can communicate. In craniopagus conjoined twins, there are two separate bodies but a shared brain or portions of brain.

The range of behavior, from relatively normal to unique, of split brain patients and conjoined twins raises questions about what it means to be a “person.” For this week’s Discussion, you compare and contrast split brain patients and conjoined twins, and explore what “personhood” means in light of what these patients can teach us about the brain and its functions.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post an explanation of how split-brain patients demonstrate the organization of the brain. Then, describe two similarities and two differences between split brain patients and conjoined twins. Finally, define “personhood” in your own words as it relates to split brain patients or conjoined twins and use the current literature to support your definition. Support your postings and responses with specific references to the literature and Learning Resources.

  • Breedlove, S. M., & Watson, N. V. (2018). Behavioral neuroscience (8th ed.) New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    • Chapter 19, “Language and Laterization”
  • Hickok, G. (2009). The functional neuroanatomy of language. Physics of Life Reviews, 6(3), 121–143. Retrieved from
  • MacQueen, K. (2011). Tatiana and Krista go to school. Maclean’s, 124(39), 26–27.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Norton, A., Zipse, L., Marchina, S. & Schlaug, G. (2009). Melodic intonation therapy: shared insights on how it is done and why it might help. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1169, 431–436.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Sudha, L., Dev, B., Kamble, R., & Joseph, S. (2009). Role of biplane digital subtraction angiography, and 3D rotational angiography in craniopagus twins: A case report, detailed pictorial evaluation, and review of literature. Journal of Pediatric Neurosciences, 4(2), 113–116.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Uddin, L. Q. (2011). Brain connectivity and the self: The case of cerebral disconnection. Consciousness and Cognition, 20(1), 94–98.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Weathers, H. (2007, January 1). A truly extraordinary bond. Daily Mail.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


Optional Resources

Final Answer

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Running head: Conjoined twins and split-brain patients

Conjoined twins and split-brain patients


Conjoined twins and split-brain patients


Patient with split brains
Patients with split-brain have presented that the brain is organized in such a way that it
controls the movement and functioning of the body. The brain of a split-brain patient is separated
at the corpus callosum, therefore, the left and the right hemispheres are not joined. Experiments
carried out by some individuals revealed that some patients showed different behavior from
individuals whose brains are connected. An example is that of a patient was presented with a
visual object on the left eye however could not verbally i...


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