Review of Gazzaniga and Baynes’ Consciousness, Introspection, and the Split-Brain: The Two Minds/One Body Problem


The sum of their main ideas: Consciousness has multiple facets. The two hemispheres can have different states of consciousness. The right hemisphere has more limited cognitive capacities than the left one, but however should be invested with some respectability, cause it is more than an automaton, demonstrating a variety of complex cognitive abilities as exhibition of goal-directed behavior, formulating some basic hypotheses regarding the relation of its actions to the world, the desire to cooperate with the experimenter in experimental tasks.

Separation of the two hemispheres shows some cognitive function losses (e.g. writing performace, memory performence) that confirm the principle that the whole is more than the sum of its parts; that is, some cognitive tasks implies the unidirectional or bidirectional communication between different systems, that are not present in both hemispheres, from both hemispheres. The left hemisphere is the dominant one. The the loss of communication between hemispheres does not prevent the maintenace of an independent sense of self.

The brain has modules that operate largely outside the realm of awareness and of which computational products are sent to various executive systems that result in behavior or cognitive states. There are multiple executive systems that can have selective influence over behavior. The left hemisphere has an interpreter module that manages and interpretes all constant and parallel activities, both those that origined in it and those that are not origined in it.


The authors presented an interesting case in which a patient was unable to drive her car because her right hand grabbed the wheel away from her left, because of a lesion in the corpus callosum. They interpreted this case in the sense that the Interpreter module sees the actions of the other hand as being strange and separated by itself.

This case give the impression that the Interpreter module is the seat of Self. From this would follow that the RH is selfless and that the self involves a kind of centrality. That the RH can be aware is certain. If additionaly the RH can stimulate consciously the motor neuronal system, if the RH can initiate consciously actions, then remain some problems If the RH can have percepts, memories, and can initiate conscious actions, then it seems that involves a kind or grade of self, a less lingvistic self Because LH can speak, it seems dominat and the only seat of Self, but there can be that both hemisheres have selves.


Though the work of the autors was in many regards bright, however, I fear that, they eluded the most fundamental problems related to the explanation of consciousness.

I consider that, the most important problems or tasks related of the explanation of consciosusness are:

A) What are precisely those activities, structures, and places in brain that substantiates the conscious states. This is the problem of the pure and complete correlation of phenomena. B) What are all the causes of the conscious states. C) Why an individual state or pattern of activity of the brain is phenomenal reither than unphenomenal; phenomenality is the 'unity of consciousness'. What are the causes due a state or pattern of activity of brain or of a part of brain is phenomenal, conscious? D) Why an individual activity or pattern of activity has the content which has and not reither other content? The causes of the individual contents are needed.


Kathleen Baynes and Michael S. Gazzaniga:1999, Consciousness, Introspection, and the Split-Brain: The Two Minds/One Body Problem, in The new cognitive neurosciences.


Consciousness is

bound to distinct working states of the entire brain and not only

to the activity of isolated parts, and its intensity depends on the

available mass of cortical tissue.

In other words, consciousness as

such, not its di.erent contents and modalities, is a holistic event

and not a property of only speci.c cells or areal structures.

Brauer (Brauer, 2004) considered that, consciousness is a 'holistic event'. That is, it is a working state of the whole brain not a property of the activity of its isolated parts.

First, I want to say that, I like the fundamental intelligible spirit of its article.

Brauer says 'consciousness as

such, not its different contents and modalities', but without any content there can be no any consciousness.


neurons or groups of cells do not ‘sleep’, only the whole brain


However, if the whole brain sleeps, then all its parts have to sleep also.

Consiousness is a 'holistic event', then why persons who undergo important sperectomies remain with other conscious modalities.

On the other hand, the brain allways generates waves of action potentials (a , b , g ), even when sleeps. That is, the sleep is also a 'holistic event'.

Related conclusion: consciousness is neither necessarily a 'holistic event' nor is suficient for a holistic activation state to be conscious

.Event related potentials(+, -).





temporal modulations

trains of spikes


dinamicity emerges from neuronal structure and interneuronal environment


axonal number and density

dendritic number and density

temporal encoding

explicit information

implicit information

developmental structure








A, B, C






I have refinement and organization problems

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