“El cuerpo calloso” o ¿por qué me levanté dormido y destruí el despertador:

20 ago

Hace años, cuando aún era vaga y dormilona (hecho que hoy día es radicalmente opuesto, claro) y mi padre se sentía en el deber de venir a despertarme por las mañanas para que fuera al colegio, tenía una estrategia infalible para sacarme de entre las sábanas: Cantaba por las mañanas. Cantaba:

“El demonio a la oreja
Te esta diciendo
Deja misa y rosario
Sigue durmiendo…”

Lo que mi padre no sabía, y con toda certeza el cura que le enseñó la canción tampoco, es que probablemente no era el demonio quien charlaba amigablemente con mi sentido de la responsabilidad, sino mi hemisferio cerebral derecho con el izquierdo. Un conflicto parecido a un enfrentamiento pandillero del tipo “¡McFly, eres un gallina!” “¡Nadie… me llama… gallina!” en el que el más fuerte se lleva a la chica. La chica en este caso es la acción que se lleva a cabo, la decisión que se toma, o la postura ante una situación que se mantiene.

Sabemos que hay un cierto número de funciones cerebrales que son compartidas por los dos hemisferios, como pueden ser el movimiento muscular voluntario o la visión. Por otro lado existen otro tipo de funciones que están lateralizadas, es decir, la gran parte de su función se desarrolla en uno de los hemisferios. Por ejemplo:

- Hemisferio izquierdo: El lenguaje, el razonamiento, el análisis espacial, reconocimiento de objetos…

- Hemisferio derecho: Las emociones, la imaginación, la creatividad, la música, reconocimiento de caras…

Todas estas regiones cerebrales funcionan de manera totalmente independiente, y es casi milagroso que seamos capaces de integrar la información para ponernos de acuerdo con nosotros mismos. La suma de todos esos datos es lo que en realidad nos define como a un único individuo, el “YO” que tan sólido nos parece.

A la hora de la integración, el obstáculo clave a saltar es el espacio entre los dos hemisferios. Una pequeña estructura, llamada “cuerpo calloso” se encarga de la comunicación inter-hemisférica de manera que aquellas funciones que estuvieran lateralizadas, también puedan estar en contacto permanente las unas con las otras.

Pero, ¿qué pasaría si esta estructura dejara de funcionar? Para nuestro regocijo, esto no es una pregunta retórica. La sección del cuerpo calloso es una solución quirúrgica a una epilepsia feroz que no responde a ningún otro tratamiento. Dado que es un método extremo no existen muchos individuos con esta condición en el mundo, pero haberlos, haylos. La condición se denomina en los círculos neurocientíficos “split-brain” que como su propio nombre indica parece que existieran dos cerebros, dos conciencias funcionando a la perfección pero de manera independiente. A pesar de todo, en un primer vistazo (y probablemente en un segundo) nadie aprecie diferencia alguna. Ellos mismos afirman no sentirse distintos y son perfectamente capaces de desempeñar cualquier tarea tal y como lo hacían antes de la cirugía. Sin embargo, con unos mínimos conocimientos de neurología podemos comprobar las condiciones únicas del sujeto:

El mejor vídeo que encontré en youtube sobre estas pruebas es éste:

Reposemos por hoy nuestro hemisferio izquierdo. Mojemos nuestras neuronas en cocacola. Más sobre la ausencia del cuerpo calloso el próximo día. ¡Seguidme, descerebrados!

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33 comentarios to ““El cuerpo calloso” o ¿por qué me levanté dormido y destruí el despertador:”

  1. Arnold Schwarzenegger 20 agosto 2009 at 8:10 am #

    Yo creo que no tengo hemisferios.

  2. ladyramachandran 20 agosto 2009 at 11:50 am #

    Tú tienes dos lonchas de queso.

  3. Visigodo 21 agosto 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    Negar a estas alturas la existencia del demonio es poco científico. Más interesante sería investigar cuál es su lóbulo preferido. Para mí que es el derecho.

  4. ladyramachandran 21 agosto 2009 at 7:27 pm #

    Visigodo, su apunte es casi visionario. Pero yo aún diría más: El lóbulo derecho ES el demonio. De ahí los impulsos, las apetencias no racionales, la inspiración artística (los pactos con el diablo), etc.

  5. pursewarden 22 agosto 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    Lady Ramachandran:

    todo lo contrario. El demonio, también llamado Lucifer (quien lleva la luz) es el primer filósofo, ya que cuestiona la naturaleza de Dios. De irracional eso no tiene nada. Lo que yo me pregunto es por qué cuando nos bautizamos, el cura pide para nosotros la luz.

  6. Gabriel Ramírez 27 agosto 2009 at 11:50 am #

    Doña Tamayo: Me interesa mucho tu blog, lo que dices y lo que dicen tus seguidores. Leeré cada día con esperanza de encontrar esa respuesta que cambie mi vida dejando el cerebro intacto. :)
    De verdad, me encanta. Te enlazo ya mismo.

  7. nanius 29 agosto 2009 at 4:02 pm #

    Hipotetizo si cantar Bach es tan complicado porque hay que conectar la música con el razonamiento y la visión espacial para no caerse del susto. O si es que yo soy uno de esos sujetos sin cuerpo calloso.

  8. ladyramachandran 29 agosto 2009 at 10:25 pm #

    Pursewarden, no estoy muy puesta en encíclicas, pero o ya no hay infierno o hay varios, no lo tengo muy claro. Ya no queda nada “sagrao”, joder. Tal vez Don Gabriel Ramírez pueda ilustrarnos.

    Don Gabriel, gracias por el enlace. Procuraremos no tocarle mucho los cerebros.

    Nanius, cabe la posibilidad de que el cuerpo calloso implosione ante Bach. También cabe la posibilidad de que sin cuerpo calloso podamos cantar a Bach y pasar la fregona con una mano sin mayores contratiempos. Pero también sería posible que fregaramos el suelo, resbaláramos dejándonos el cuerpo calloso, y mientras morimos dulcemente viendo una luz que se nos ofrece, el demonio a la oreja nos cantara a Bach.

  9. pursewarden 31 agosto 2009 at 5:57 pm #

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    Separate sides to my head.

    I would go without shirts or shoes,
    Friends, tobacco or bread
    Sooner than for an instant lose
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    El infierno, según el Papa, no es un lugar físico, pero eso no significa que no exista, ni que el infierno sea dominio exclusivo de los católicos, apostólicos y romanos.

  10. Gabriel Ramírez 12 septiembre 2009 at 4:59 pm #

    Puedo limpiarte esto un poco. Veo polvo por todos los sitios.
    A ver si escribes algo, joder.

  11. Mimí 11 noviembre 2009 at 5:10 pm #

    Despierta la curiosidad, interesante.

    Saludo desde los mares de Extremadura.

  12. Albertito Masa 24 diciembre 2009 at 5:53 pm #

    pues me encanta este sitio, caray. Lástima que… ahí quedara.

  13. Guillermo Aguirre 12 noviembre 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    El regreso de la madre del cordero. :)

  14. poetryandphoto 16 abril 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Interesante tu blog, me gusta. Iré viniendo por aquí. Yo estoy bastante interesada en el tema de las neuronas espejo … si tienes información interesante sobre ello ponlo!!!
    Un abrazo!

  15. Habilidad Emocional 15 agosto 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    El cuerpo calloso poco desarrollado es la causa de falta de comuncacion entre ambos hemisferiso y la consiguietne Alexitima del individuo… o carencia de comprension emocional de sí mismo y los demás.

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  1. “Síndrome del Dr. Strangelove” o esa pobre bloguera: « Hacking Purkinje - 13 noviembre 2010

    [...] aproximadamente un año, tras el éxito del artículo sobre el cuerpo calloso, andaba yo superándome preparando el post más interesante del universo (me temo que ahora mismo [...]

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