The divided brain — interview with Iain McGilchrist

The divided brain — interview with Iain McGilchrist

There is an enormous number of aspects of modernist culture, the culture of the last hundred years or so, which simulates schizophrenia. Brent: Well, it’s my pleasure to welcome Dr. Iain McGilchrist, psychiatrist and author of “The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World” here to AEI. Dr. McGilchrist holds multiple fellowships at Oxford University, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the Royal Society of Arts. So, welcome, Iain. It’s good to have you. Iain: Thank you very much, Brent. Brent: So, I hear from others that one question authors don’t usually get asked when they come on to a program like this is, what’s your book about? So, why don’t you start there and give us a little bit of what your book is about? Iain: Well, it’s about the vexed topic of the difference between the brain hemispheres, a topic that has become rather a toxic topic because of its exploitation by media people and pop psychology. And it started with things that we learnt…well, it took off, let me say, because we learned differences about the brain hemispheres in the 19th century, but it really took off after the first split-brain operations in Caltech in the 1960s where the brain was divided, this was for treatment of intractable epilepsy, and it gave people an insight into what the two halves of the brain might do that was different.

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