Phineas Gage: A Tragic Story

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Phineas Gage was a railroad foreman who survived a traumatic accident in 1848. He was filling holes with gunpowder when an explosion caused a tamping iron to shoot under his cheekbone, out through his skull. This accident destroyed a good majority of Gage's prefrontal cortex. It was incredible that he survived and was able to walk within minutes after the accident. After he found a doctor to treat his wounds, fungus began to form in his wound, which is why many expected him to die. Fortunately, he recovered within weeks and lived a normal life. It's often argued whether he was the same man as he was before. I can't see how it would be possible for him to live the same life he was living before the accident, considering the fact that the prefrontal cortex was damaged so severely. After all, it is the part of the brain that is responsible for a person's thinking, planning, and language.
Phineas Gage's Skull.jpg
This is a concept that I will be able to remember very well over the next five years. I believe this to be true because I am so amazed that anyone could survive such a terrible accident and still be able to live a "normal" life. Also, the picture of Gage's skull with the tamping iron sticking out of it is a nauseating visual that I don't think I'll be able to get out of my head. Nonetheless, I still find this story to be very intriguing and a great one to share with people who are unfamiliar with it.

For more information and details on the story click on this link below.


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The story of Phineas Gage is incredibly interesting because he is one of the only people to survive such a debilitating accident, albeit with unexpected consequences. Psychologists can study the case of Gage and determine the effects of damage to specific parts of the brain.

It is amazing how he was able to function, let alone live a normal life, after such a traumatic accident. It is too bad that nobody recorder a more accurate record of how Gage was both before, and after the accident. I did some research on this topic and found out that there is virtually no first hand testimony of how the accident impacted Gage's life.

This is an amazing story. People often think that surviving traumatic accidents before today's modern accidents was by mere chance. Gage's story is both shocking and interesting because it shows the body's ability to respond to damage and cope after an accident.

Many people used to be "treated" for psychological disorders by having frontal lobotomies. These essentially removed their frontal lobe or cut the connections to the frontal lobe. This essentially produced a bunch of people like Gage.

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This page contains a single entry by warf0035 published on April 29, 2012 11:45 PM.

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