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Mike or me? Self-recognition in a split-brain patient


A split-brain patient (epileptic individual whose corpus callosum had been severed to minimize the spread of seizure activity) was asked to recognize morphed facial stimuli—presented separately to each hemisphere—as either himself or a familiar other. Both hemispheres were capable of face recognition, but the left hemisphere showed a recognition bias for self and the right hemisphere a bias for familiar others. These findings suggest a possible dissociation between self-recognition and more generalized face processing within the human brain.

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Figure 1: A sequence of nine faces was created by morphing MG's face with JW's face in 10% incremental shifts.
Figure 2: Proportion of yes responses to recognition judgements as a function of the percentage of the individual contained in the image and the cerebral hemisphere to which the image was presented.

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The authors thank B. Walling for help with the data collection. This work was supported by National Science Foundation grant BCS 0072861 and by National Institutes of Health grant RO1 NS31443.

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Correspondence to David J. Turk.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Turk, D., Heatherton, T., Kelley, W. et al. Mike or me? Self-recognition in a split-brain patient. Nat Neurosci 5, 841–842 (2002).

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