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Hoppe, K.D. (1978). Split-Brain — Psychoanalytic Findings and Hypotheses. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 6(2):193-213.

(1978). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 6(2):193-213

Split-Brain — Psychoanalytic Findings and Hypotheses

Klaus D. Hoppe

Stimulated and encouraged by Bogen studies I started to examine patients after hemispherectomy and commissurotomy in 1971. Since then, I interviewed one patient after a right hemispherectomy, one patient after a left hemispherectomy, ten patients after a total commissurotomy, and two patients after a partial commissurotomy. All interviews with these patients and their relatives were taped; at certain times, I used the associative anamnesis technique of Felix Deutsch and asked some commissurotomozied patients, who have been seen a second time, to associate freely and to respond to guided daydreams.

Let me at first present to you my clinical observations on a patient with a right hemispherectomy,

The thirty-two-year-old woman, a former singer and actress, was still a beautiful lady, although her smile was now half-sided and her movements remained restricted to the right side of her body, especially her right arm. She spoke in such a glib and witty way, that I had to look clandestinely to her paralyzed left side to convince myself; Mrs. G. no longer possessed a right hemisphere.

In several taped interviews, she talked freely about the impotence of her divorced husband and her present needs. She could not remember any circumstances of her brain operation four years ago. Mrs. G. volunteered to demonstrate her inability to sing melodically with the remark: “I feel like a frog that has just gotten out of water.” She stated with some irritation that she could not recollect any dreams or fantasies. Only at the last interview, when specifically questioned, did she report a dream of the week before. In it, Dr. Bogen and a psychologist drove her in the latter's Volkswagen to a restaurant and treated her to lobster and martinis — exactly as had happened in reality a short while before.

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