What's the Latest Development?
Researchers were recently surprised to find that brains missing a corpus callosum, which links the two hemispheres of the brain, were able to communicate information between the two halves quite effectively. Is the brain capable of using electromagnetic waves to transfer information between hemispheres? Johnjoe McFadden of the School of Biomedical and Life Sciences at the University of Surrey thinks so. He has recently proposed an electromagnetic consciousness theory of the brain.
What's the Big Idea?
Human brains without a corpus callosum are relatively rare, occurring approximately once every 4,000 live births. Composed of 200 million axons, it is the brain's largest fiber bundle. Scientists do not currently understand how information is passed from one hemisphere to another without the specialized fibers but they believe the phenomenon may give insight into clinical conditions including autism and schizophrenia. About a third of individuals missing the corpus callosum are also autistic.