What Is The Corpus Callosum?
The brain is divided into two halves called the RIGHT HEMISPHERE and the LEFT HEMISPHERE. These two halves are connected by a structure called the CORPUS CALLOSUM. (It is located above the thalamus, underneath the cortex, see image below)
Above : The location of the corpus callosum (marked in orange). Of all the brain’s white matter structures, it is the largest.
What Is The Function Of The Corpus Callosum?
The function of the corpus callosum is to allow communication to take place between the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere ; it facilitates this communication by transmitting neural messages between these two parts of the brain.
What Does The Corpus Callosum Communicate Between The Brain’s Right And Left Hemisphere?
The corpus callosum is responsible for the communication between the two hemispheres of emotion, arousal, sensory information, information relating to motor functions and higher cognitive abilities (including working memory, imagery and consciously controlled – or willed’ – action, amongst others).
The Effect Of Parental Maltreatment On The Corpus Callosum :
A study conducted by McCrory et al., 2011, found that children who were significantly maltreated by their parent (or parents) over a protracted period of time had corpus collosa that were, on average, significantly smaller than those found in children who had been fortunate enough to have experienced relatively stable and happy childhoods.
In more specific terms, their (i.e. the maltreated children’s corpus callosa had less thickness of the white fibre area.
Children Who Are Constantly Humiliated By Their Parents May Be At Particular Risk Of Incurring Impaired Development Of Their Corpus Callosa :
Subtle, emotional abuse by parents, due, not least, to its particularly insidious nature, can be just as damaging, or even more damaging, than more blatant forms of abuse.
Indeed, studies suggest that children of parents who frequently mock and humiliate them are especially likely to sustain damage to the development of their corpus callosa. (To read my previously published article : Humor : How Parents May Use It To Emotionally Wound Their Children, click here.)
The effect of this is to impair communication between the brain’s left and right hemispheres and it is theorized that this may explain why such children are frequently found to lack confidence in their linguistic skills and/or to develop difficulties controlling their emotions.
David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).