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More talkative than once thought

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It’s been a quiet week here on psychblog I know, but now the first year exams are out the way (and I hope they went well for everyone sitting them) I have a little more time to start searching the web for the psychology news that’s of interest to you. :)

We study the physiology and biology of the brain and brain function in depth in the physiological psychology module of the AS course and specifically look at the processes surrounding the corpus callosum in Sperry and it is touched on in Raine. The general thinking is that the corpus callosum’s main function is to ferry information from one hemisphere to the other allowing the two separate hemispheres to communicate. Some recent research has actually put doubt over this thought and proposed that the brains white matter (which includes the corpus callosum) actually processes information much like other parts of the brain rather than just being a messenger.

Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered to their surprise that nerves in the mammalian brain’s white matter do more than just ferry information between different brain regions, but in fact process information the way gray matter cells do. [press release]

The press release and other related pages are rather full on, but basically they have tested mouse brains were “…surprised to see these nerve axons talking to other cells in the white matter”. Something worth keeping your eyes on to see if there are any further developments. If the white matter does actually process information as well as transfer it then this could lead to other explanations and theories in relation to Sperry and Raine.

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