Originally published in 1986, this stimulating and unorthodox book integrates the major findings of hemispheric research with the larger questions of how the brain stores and transmits information – the ‘brain code’. Norman Cook emphasizes how the two cerebral hemispheres communicate information over the corpus callosum, the largest single nerve tract of the human brain. Excitatory mechanisms are involved in the duplication of information between the hemispheres; in contrast, inhibitory mechanisms are implicated in the production of hemispheric asymmetries and, crucially, in high-level cognitive phenomena such as the right hemisphere’s role in providing the ‘context’ within which left hemispheric verbal information is placed. These callosal mechanisms of information transfer are not only fundamental to the brain code; they are the simplest and most easily demonstrated ways in which the neocortex ‘talks to itself’.
The Brain Code demonstrates how popular topics within psychology at the time, such as laterality, hemisphere differences and the psychology of left and right, are central to further progress in understanding the human brain. This book provides stimulating reading for students of psychology, artificial intelligence and neurophysiology, as well as anyone interested in the broader question of how the brain works.
Table of Contents
Lists of Tables and Figures. Acknowledgements. Preface: What is the ‘Brain Code’? 1. Introduction 2. Brain Structures Involved in Interhemispheric Communication 3. Functions of the Corpus Callosum 4. Neuropsychological Implications of Callosal Function 5. Major Themes of Cerebral Laterality 6. Relevant Animal Experiments 7. A Theoretical Framework for the Study of the Brain Code 8. Conclusions. Appendix 1: Maps of the Cerebral Cortex. Appendix 2: Computer Simulations. References. Glossary. Index.
Norman D. Cook