Split-brain reveals separate but equal self-recognition in the two cerebral hemispheres

Conscious Cogn. 2005 Sep;14(3):633-40. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2005.01.008.


To assess the ability of the disconnected cerebral hemispheres to recognize images of the self, a split-brain patient (an individual who underwent complete cerebral commissurotomy to relieve intractable epilepsy) was tested using morphed self-face images presented to one visual hemifield (projecting to one hemisphere) at a time while making "self/other" judgments. The performance of the right and left hemispheres of this patient as assessed by a signal detection method was not significantly different, though a measure of bias did reveal hemispheric differences. The right and left hemispheres of this patient independently and equally possessed the ability to self-recognize, but only the right hemisphere could successfully recognize familiar others. This supports a modular concept of self-recognition and other-recognition, separately present in each cerebral hemisphere.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ego*
  • Face*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality*
  • Humans
  • Recognition, Psychology*
  • Signal Detection, Psychological
  • Split-Brain Procedure