Links

Dr Alan Snyder at The Centre for the Mind is currently attempting to release latent higher functions by switching off the rational left brain. Check out the publications page.

Dr Michael Persinger is investigating the links between the brain and religious experience. His approach involves electromagnetic stimulation of the brain. Interestingly electromagnetic stimulation of the right hemisphere seems to induce the most significant experience. This recent video of one of his lectures provides an introduction to some of his research.

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen is researching the effects of hormones on brain growth and behaviour. He has added to the growing body of evidence that testosterone retards the neural development of the left side of the brain and this detrimentally alters behaviour.
Dr Darold Treffert has been studying savant syndrome for more than forty years. He has concluded that savant abilities are latent in the right hemisphere and emerge when the released from, as he says, the tyranny of the left hemisphere. Check out his pages at the Wisconsin Medical Society or watch this recent video.

Dr Katharine Milton has studied the eating habits of our closest living relatives and published papers on the nutritional composition of a typical primate diet.

Dr Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist has written a book called My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, about her recovery from a stroke affecting her left hemisphere and the insights she has gained into the workings of her brain.
A must see video outlining her amazing experiences.

Dr Iain McGilchrist has been researching the structural, functional and behavioural differences between the left and right sides of the brain for more than 20 years. In his recently published book 'The Master and his Emissary' he makes a detailed and scholarly case for an increasingly and excessively dominant left hemisphere and how that has negatively impacted on the evolution of our society and ‘civilisation’.
Dr McGilchrist contends that many of our problems stem from the limited ability of the left hemisphere combined with its near monopoly of our culture. While his conclusions differ from those proposed in ‘Left in the Dark’ the large body of evidence he has painstakingly marshalled appears to lend significant weight to the case for a dysfunctional left hemisphere.
Dr McGilchrist includes an excerpt from the quote below by Alexis de Tocqueville in support of his central thesis, it paints an all too familiar picture, so familiar it is difficult to imagine how things could be any different.

‘After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.'


Dr Iain McGilchrist is interviewed by Natasha Mitchell for ‘All In The Mind’ on ABC Radio National

Eminent psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist offers an ambitious, provocative thesis about how the brain's two hemispheres came to be, and construct the world. Today there's a power struggle being played out between the left and right brain that he argues is reshaping Western civilisation in disturbing ways.

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