Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Gazzaniga, Michael S.
Location University of California, Santa Barbara
Primary Field Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
Secondary Field Systems Neuroscience
 Election Citation
Gazzaniga introduced methods for studying human brain laterality using patients who had undergone resections of the corpus callosum. His remarkable research has clarified the distinct roles of the two hemispheres in language and thought. It also revealed the importance and limits of how the cerebral hemispheres communicate with one another.
 Research Interests
Throughout my career I have studied split-brain and other types of neurologic patients, in an effort to understand both the functional lateralization in the human brain and how the cerebral hemispheres communicate with one another. These studies have contributed to identifying the complex mosaic of mental processes that participate in human cognition with the left hemisphere specialized for language and speech and major problem-solving capacities and the right hemisphere specialized for tasks such as facial recognition and attentional monitoring. Even though the brain has a modular architecture, we discovered the left brain also has unique capacity to interpret the multiple actions of these modules which in turn allows for a personal narrative to be created.

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