Taking Charge of Your Health

Your brain is two brains. Two hemispheres each doing half the work of being you. Half your vision goes to each and half your movement directed by each. Right controls left and left controls right. Your two brains co-ordinate through a wire of nerves, but this wire can be cut, and was, for a time, used as an epilepsy treatment. After the cut, people seemed the same, though their brain was split in-twain. Except, some post-split patients described that while selecting their morning outfit with right hand, left might come along to disagree. Actually, left hand might quite often disagree, which these split-brain patients found frustrating. What’s happening? To investigate, remember, right brain sees and controls one half, while left brain controls and sees the other. But only left brain can speak. “Hello.” Because that’s where the speech center is located. Right brain, without this, is mute. In normal brains, this doesn’t matter because each half communicates across the wire with the other. But, split-brains can’t, and thus, you can show just the right brain a word, ask the person: “What did you see?”, and you’ll hear: “Nothing.” Because, left speaking brain saw nothing. Meanwhile, right brain will use its hand to pick the object out of a pile hidden from left brain. This is deeply creepy. Ask “Why are you holding the object?” and speaking left brain will make up a plausible sounding, but totally wrong, reason. “I always wanted to learn how to solve one of these.” Left brain isn’t lying; it’s just doing what brains do: creating a story that explains its past actions to its current self, a behavior which does rather cast doubt onto the notion of free will (but that’s a story for another time). Creating reasons for why it does things is just something left brains do. It happens in normal, healthy humans all the time, and if you think about it closely, you know you’ve done this. Back to experiments. Give right brain an object, ask the person “What’s in your hand?” and they won’t be able to say. “I’m not holding anything.” And, when asked to draw, a split-brain can draw two separate objects simultaneously, with each hand, in a way unsplit-brains find challenging. These experiments on split-brain patients are deeply unsettling because they really point in the direction of a mute separate… intelligence… Something… Living in the skull. You can even ask questions of a split-brain and get disagreement on the answer. So, if your brain is split, who is the ‘you’ in this situation? From the outside, it’s tempting to think of the part of the brain that’s speaking as the person, but something is hearing and answering questions. And, though right brain can’t speak, it does understand faces, which left brain can’t. If this is you, you don’t know who your friends and family are in a crowd. This act of cutting exposes two minds in one head, and the talking mind doesn’t know there’s someone else in the house. The left brain can describe the situation it’s in, but nonetheless will constantly be surprised by right brain’s actions and explain them away. There’s a question to be asked here: Why, after separation, does right brain not totally freak out, but instead plays along helpfully, answering questions, and listening to left-brain’s dumb stories about what’s happening. – It’s the best pony… I don’t know. – Speculation time… But, one answer is the cutting doesn’t make right brain a separate… intelligence… consciousness… person? but rather it has always been. In normal people, perhaps right brain rose up as a companion without a choice. Feeling at first somewhat equal partners, but then, as speech develops that it can’t participate in, that increasingly becomes the central point of life, it resigns to mutely co-ordinate with left brain. At this moment, in your normal head, there are two of you watching this video: one having a ‘mind=blown’ moment, and the other mentally rolling its eye at the obviousness of it all. In split-brains, right doesn’t freak out because not a whole lot has really changed. You might not agree, and maybe arguing right now at why it can’t be possible, exactly as we would expect talking left brain to do. Speculation aside, split-brain patients show, at the very least, that in the mind, there is a separate… something that can hear and understand and respond, given the right circumstances. Your brain isn’t entirely yours. Who is you? You is two. [soft music] [Grey’s voice morphing into Kurzgesagt’s voice] But we can go deeper. You are many. [Kurzgesagt’s voice] The pile of meat that’s your body is made up of trillions of tiny individuals that have a life of their own. [Kurzgesagt’s voice] So, at which point do the many become one? [Kurzgesagt’s voice] What makes lots of tiny things you? [Kurzgesagt’s voice] Click here to go to our channel and watch the next part. [Grey’s voice] Seriously. If you haven’t checked out Kurzgesagt, then you don’t know what you’re missing. Kurgaset? Kurtzgaset? I never know.

100 thoughts on “You Are Two

  1. But if you close your left eye while your brain is split will you not be unable to recognise yourself so left brain is you while the right is just a parasite

  2. Then speech devolves into baboon noises globally, and civilization falls a bit.
    This video seems to make the case that the Socratic method, and its effect on cognition, is a physical divide of consciousness.
    It's not.
    You are just teaching yourself the very concept of division of labor, and difference of perspective.
    The brain has a million skills, not 2.

  3. If my left brain control my right hand and vice versa, then why does my right brain just passively agree with me when I tell it to type this comment? (send help I'm stuck in an idiot's head). And as someone who plays instruments, I'm constantly doing stuff that involves careful timing between both hands (you're welcome).
    Anyways, this is crazy, you don't know what you're talking about (thanks for acknowledging me Grey, sincerely, right brain).

    But nah jokes aside, I remember my brother telling me about this after taking a psychology class, and it is really cool. He didn't go into as much depth about it as you did though, so unsurprisingly I made the usual assumption that both hemispheres work as one until the split is made. Now… I really don't know how to feel about it. Do you think the whole left-hemisphere-dominance thing is why right-handedness is so common? Also, my left eye is better, and my eye doctor said it's not for any physical problems and compared it to right-handedness. Does this mean my left hemisphere has bullied my right into submission? 🙁

  4. The Corpus Collosum is very important it wants separates placental mammals from Marsupials and Monotremes. Nice Krutzkezat transition

  5. Ok, ok, but most importantly: who controls the penus? If you made a separate brainer see with only one eye an exiting thing, which eye would make the heartbeat pump up? And one more question: in the video, it says that the left brain is the "dominant" one, so is this the cause of people using more likely right hand? And what happens in the lefthanded people's brain?

  6. So… Brains are normally not split, correct? Has there been anyone split from birth? What would the brain(s) be like at adulthood?

  7. Its possible to manufacture a personality in someone whose open to suggestion. Sounds benign enough, but seriously imagine it happen to you.

  8. Okay, I'm two. But like, since I don't have a split brain, those "two" share all the information with one another, right? So for all intents and purposes, there's still one shared consciousness that is "me"? Right?

    Now I'm staring at my hands while I'm typing this and I'm trying to figure out which hand is typing more. Curse you, Grey. Curse you.

  9. I always hesr a thought under my thought, if i think a wprd like banana theres an under voice also thinking about me saying the word banana and sayinh why am.i doing this

  10. But wait… If right brain can understand speech, it would speak if it could, right? Well, in that case, wouldn't it mentally "speak" to left brain??

  11. "interesting implications for free will"

    The elephant in the room there being that humans are deterministic and/or probabilistic systems.

    Deterministic and/or probabilistic systems can't have free will.

  12. wonder if the effects of split-brain are different in people with severe dyslexia does anyone know if this was been tested. despite still not have speech centers and drastically oversimplifying it we dyslexics have a domanit right brain.

  13. My brains agree : This is the creepiest thing i've ever seen online. Like. the creepiest. Also, My brains like each-other. They are good friends, and… ofthen they'll type words togeather. Sometimes one brain is a bit faster than the other, so they can mix letters up a little bit, but usually no, usually everythingis completely cool and they re like two best firends, holding hands and all – thru the nerve cords 🙂

    I also like both of them. I am not sure who I am here… but… … whatever. 🙂

  14. I’ll never know if ‘I’ am just left brain. And I wonder if frustrated motions my left hand makes are directed at wherever I’m frustrated at, or at ‘me’, or more specifically, left brain. …This is very confusing, especially since I completely forgot what I was about to type right after I decided I was going to type this comment with my left hand. Uh, right brain, I’m sorry I’ve put you through all this… uh…

  15. I tested out which part of my brain would get a pulse when I thought 'wow that is so cool' and it was left brain, while I also thought 'eh thats normal' and right brain got the pulse, I AM TWO

  16. Honestly if science has confirmed that there are two separately functioning parts of the brain and that the speaking left brain and silent right brain are prone to disagree and not understand eachother why have scientist not questioned the possibility of schizophrenia and other disorders being the product of a non-cooperative right brain vs left brain or even just a "Rocky relationship"

  17. What if we like interviewed the right brain in split brain patients like gave them questions only they could see and ask them to answer it

  18. Wait… is this why i can understand something, but i can't explain it to another person? because my right brain understands it, but cannot say it aloud?

  19. I think that the so called self is a sum of its parts, the two parts of the brain. When you split the brain like that you have divided and isolated your self into two. That is why the brain parts won't always cooperate because the fractured self has made two decisions with the resources of each part individually instead of together as is normal.

  20. Wait so if you split your brain and then reunite them will you remember both sides of the story, or will you only remember one side the story?

  21. Well thanks to you i feel like 2 people and there is a war in my mind right brain is all about creativity and truth and left brain is just logic and , IT ANNOYS US WHEN WE SEE 2 DIFFERENT SIDES OF THE STORY.

    Example: my friends said a joke about me being short

    Left brain: they are trying to plot something!

    Right brain: no they are just telling jokes!



    Left b: fine but the next joke abut us i take control!

    Right b: OK FINE!

    Friends: makes joke about me 1 second later

    Right b: oh no……

    Left b: i think you mean lets say a bad word in real life!

    Right b: PLEASE NO

    Left brain: TOO LATE

    Left b: HEY CENTER CONTROL (the person who controls everything in my mind who follows commands unless very specific commands are given and must be told how) SAY A BAD WORD!

    Center control: which?

    Left brain: YOU KNOW WHICH –

    Center control : presses talk button

    Out loud: YOU STUPID PIECE OF SH**

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