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ForgettingMyths, Perils and Compensations$
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Douwe Draaisma

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300207286

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300207286.001.0001

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The Galileo of Neurology

The Galileo of Neurology

(p.107) Chapter Seven The Galileo of Neurology

Douwe Draaisma

, Liz Waters
Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Arthur Ladbroke Wigan, a British family doctor who died in 1847. Wigan proposed the idea that the left and right cerebral hemispheres are not two parts of one organ but two separate brains, each with its own feelings, thoughts, and impulses. Each brain selects, interprets, and registers at its own discretion, and each forgets according to its own laws. Problems arise only if one brain is damaged in some way or if both brains become sick. Then the sick brain may start to rebel and the healthy brain has to relinquish leadership, with disastrous consequences for both performance and experience. With his two brains, Wigan was trying to bring order to pathological phenomena that two generations later would be divided along a different axis: that which separates consciousness and the unconscious.

Keywords:   Arthur Ladbroke Wigan, left brain, right brain, left hemisphere, right hemisphere, human memory, consciousness, unconscious

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