The Mystery of the Missed Connection – Review

Agenesis and the Corpus Callosum

Scientific American Mind (1) (2) January/ February 2013 published an interesting article on the ‘Corpus Callosum’ the connective bridge between the two hemispheres of the brain.

This particular article is very interesting as it discusses some of the common links of the area and research into Autism, Epilepsy and schizophrenia to name a few.

Critically, it discusses how neuroplasticity can affect ‘re-wiring’ of the brain if this structure is missing.

Because the corpus callosum is central it has many roles such as motor skills, attention and memory. It joins up the two hemispheres and helps them work together.

Although the article doesn’t discuss how hormones impact on the tissue in the Corpus Callosum it is a very interesting article about neuroplasticity and its implications.

In particular the article features a condition known as Agenesis – see this blog link for one of the contributors (http://agenesiscorpuscallosum.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/acc-mystery-of-missed-connection.html). Of particular interest is the self- advocacy website attached to the blog for families and people with this rare condition see here: http://scenicbeauty.tripod.com/AngelsAroundTheWorld.html

This explains that Agenesis is a rare condition where children are born with out or only a partial corpus callosum.

I have read about the corpus callosum before in relation to Einstein who was dyslexic and had epilepsy. (3)

When the brain of Albert Einstein was cut up, it was discovered that he had a much thicker corpus callosum but other areas of his brain were deficient. (4)

In terms of neurodiversity and neuroplasticity I am very interested in the findings of the article.

As a follow up I had a look for information about hormones and the corpus callosum which was very interesting, as this e-book link (5) discusses findings in relation to difference in connectivity between the sexes and the studies relating to thickness of the corpus callosum caused by sex hormones which appear to have a great impact on the development of this area.

The author light heartedly puts forward the difficulties of studying sex difference and cognitive ability, and some of the problems (I mean arguments) this can cause between scientists.

I thought it was interesting that one piece of research seemed to suggest that the greater thickness of connectivity in the corpus callosum could account for better verbal skill/ connectivity in women! 🙂

1) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-mystery-of-the-missed-connectio

2)http://www.nature.com/scientificamericanmind/journal/v23/n6/full/scientificamericanmind0113-54.html

3) http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewArticle.asp?id=19984

4)http://recievemore.com/?tag=corpus-callosum

5)http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2zNNhXqlJP4C&pg=PA199&lpg=PA199&dq=corpus+callosum+hormones&source=bl&ots=7I8iYq-ZMW&sig=r-QeVzRsFhFjs2YpqUI9vAX2x2Q&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VP_4UNnSFISW0QXB3oDwDA&sqi=2&ved=0CGIQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=corpus%20callosum%20hormones&f=false

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