The Wada Test for Philosophers: What is it like to be a proper part of your own brain losing and regaining other proper parts of your brain?

Evidently, good answers to this question are not confined to the wilds of science fiction and thought experiment. In fact, I think there are actually people with a pretty good idea: patients of the Wada test. These are people who have had their brain hemispheres anesthetized one at a time so that the rest of the brain—the complementary other hemisphere and the subcortical regions—remains functioning in some ways, and by all accounts conscious. Some of these patients report on their conscious experiences afterward, for example, describing what it is like to have one’s language dominant hemisphere temporarily shut down, finding oneself at a complete—albeit only temporary—loss of words. Continue reading “The Wada Test for Philosophers: What is it like to be a proper part of your own brain losing and regaining other proper parts of your brain?”