Sequential operation of disconnected cerebral hemispheres in split-brain patients

H Pashler, S J Luck, S A Hillyard, G R Mangun, S O’Brien, and M S Gazzaniga (1994).┬áNeuroreport, 5(17):2381-4.

When two concurrent sensorimotor tasks require separate responses, selection of the first response generally delays selection of the second. Dual-task performance was examined in four patients who had undergone surgical transection of the forebrain commissures including the corpus callosum. One light flash was presented to each visual field in succession, and patients made a choice response to each stimulus with the ipsilateral hand, thereby confining the tasks to separate hemispheres. All four showed dual-task interference very similar to that found with normal individuals. Therefore, still-intact subcortical structures must play a critical role in sequencing response selection processes (the ‘dual-task bottleneck’), confirming the distinction between the attentional limitations involved in planning actions and those involved in perceptual analysis.

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