Corpus Callosum

The brain is divided into the right and left hemisphere, and the two halves are connected by the corpus callosum. This bundle of nerve tissue contains over 200 million axons (nerve fibers that carry electrical impulses from neurons’ cell bodies) by rough estimate. This neural tissue facilitates communication between the two sides of the brain.

The corpus callosum is the largest collection of white matter within the brain, and it has a high myelin content. Myelin is a fatty, protective coating around nerves that facilitates quicker transmission of information. White matter should not be confused with gray matter. The brain uses gray matter for computation, thinking, memory storage, and more. White matter, like the corpus callosum, allows different parts of the brain to communicate with each other.

Some congenital (birth) defects include a complete lack of this neural tissue. In modern neurosurgery, some surgeons have surgically cut the corpus callosum as a means for treating epileptic seizures. By disrupting contact between the two brain hemispheres, a seizure can be isolated and kept from spreading.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Corpus Callosum

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