We humans have long wondered what separates us from the other animals — but neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga may have given the topic more consideration than most.
Gazzaniga, a pioneer in what's called split-brain research, has just published Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique. He talks to Terry Gross about his work, which involves investigating the varying functions of the left and right sides of our brains, and about how that research informs our understanding of the brain and human consciousness.
Gazzaniga has spent the past 45 years studying the functions of the left and right brain. He's director of the University of California-Santa Barbara's SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind. He also serves on the President's Council on Bioethics and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In addition to Human, Gazzaniga is also the author of The Ethical Brain.