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New Evidence for Jaynes's Neurological Model: A Research Update

Marcel Kuijsten
The Jaynesian, 2009, Volume 3, Issue 1.


Over three decades ago Julian Jaynes introduced his theory of the origin of consciousness and a historically older mental model called the bicameral mind. Jaynes reasoned that prior to the development of an introspectable mind-space, the brain used language as the code and auditory hallucinations as the mechanism to convey stored up experience from the right hemisphere to the left hemisphere. While the technology was not then available to test his ideas, Jaynes suggested a possible neurological model for the bicameral mind. Briefly stated, he reasoned that auditory hallucinations emanate from the areas of the right temporal lobe corresponding to the language areas in the left temporal lobe, and are subsequently processed (or "heard") in the left temporal lobe language areas. Because of their external quality, the bicameral person experiencing auditory hallucinations interpreted them as the externally generated commands of a dead ancestor, chief, king, or god. To this day, those who experience auditory hallucinations often hear behavioral commands and experience them as being externally generated. ...