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What happened along the evolutionary trail that made humans so unique? In his accessible style, Michael Gazzaniga pinpoints the change that made us thinking, sentient humans different from our predecessors. He explores what makes human brains special, the importance of language and art in defining the human condition, the nature of human consciousness, and even artificial intelligence.
In this book we are trying to illuminate the persistent and nag ging questions of how mind, life, and the essence of being relate to brain mechanisms. We do that not because we have a commit ment to bear witness to the boring issue of reductionism but be cause we want to know more about what it's all about. How, in deed, does the brain work? How does it allow us to love, hate, see, cry, suffer, and ultimately understand Kepler's laws? We try to uncover clues to these staggering questions by con sidering the results of our studies on the bisected brain. Several years back, one of us wrote a book with that title, and the ap proach was to describe how brain and behavior are affected when one takes the brain apart. In the present book, we are ready to put it back together, and go beyond, for we feel that split-brain studies are now at the point of contributing to an understanding of the workings of the integrated mind. We are grateful to Dr. Donald Wilson of the Dartmouth Medi cal School for allowing us to test his patients. We would also like to thank our past and present colleagues, including Richard Naka mura, Gail Risse, Pamela Greenwood, Andy Francis, Andrea El berger, Nick Brecha, Lynn Bengston, and Sally Springer, who have been involved in various facets of the experimental studies on the bisected brain described in this book.