Random Reports: Human Split-Brain Syndromes

  • Norman Geschwind
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 16)


In early 1961 I had become aware, through reading Dejerine, (as discussed in the introduction to the preceding paper) of the occurrence of callosal syndromes in man. Within a few weeks I had seen my first case of alexia without agraphia. Shortly afterwards Edith Kaplan called another remarkable case to my attention. She had been examining a patient who had undergone a left frontal lobectomy for a glioblastoma and who had developed a striking grasp reflex in the right hand only, but not in the left. She decided that this would be an excellent case to test the assertions in an old paper of Bouman and Grünbaum that the grasp reflex caused typical defects in the mechanical characteristics of writing. She expected the patient’s own uninvolved left hand to act as a control for the right hand which had the grasp reflex. To her astonishment she found that the patient wrote normally with the right hand and aphasically with the left hand. She told me about the case and since it struck me that this must be a callosal syndrome we began our joint investigation.


Corpus Callosum Typical Defect Preceding Paper Negative Report Excellent Case 
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  1. Lang, J., ‘Apraxien’, in Handbuch der Neurologie, Vol. 6 (ed. by O. Bumke and O. Foerster ), Julius Springer, Berlin. 1936, pp. 885–960.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman Geschwind
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolUSA

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