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Phineas Gage Paper

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The brain is an extraordinary structure intended to multi-task on a recurrent basis. Not only is it accountable for modifiable all of the body’s frequent processes, it is also accountable for coordinating all of the cognitive gathering that divide and differentiate humans from all other faction (Ehow Health, 2011). The human brain is accountable for regulating all of a human’s physical processes, including emotions, thinking, and activity.

All cognitive functions commence in the cerebrum which is also recognized as the cerebral cortex and this region build up most of the brain’s mass (Ehow Health, 2011). The cerebral cortex composed of four separate areas also identified as lobes. The four lobes are the subsequent: the frontal lobe, the temporal lobe, the parietal lobe, and final, the occipital lobe. Each of these regions is accountable for accomplishing definite tasks, most being a cognitive purpose. These cognitive meaning are composed of problem-solving, communicating, education, reminiscence, and emotions. There are other functions such as reading and dialogue that need synchronized processing from some regions in the cerebrum (Ehow Health, 2011).

Phineas Gage was a railroad worker who was harshly injured while functioning on the railroad in Cavendish, Vermont in 1848. Phineas was in the course of hand drilling a hole in which to put a stick of dynamite in order to blow up away some rock. This was done by hammering an iron rod into the rock to create a hole. By some means there was a spark which set off an outburst of the charge he had set which lead the iron tamping rod to turn out to be imbedded into his skull, which in turn, shattered most of the front fraction of the left side of his brain (Willingham, 2011). Astonishingly, Gage survived the mishap regardless of having such a large object stuck in his head. In fact, Gage survived for 11 1/2 more years before dying.

The crash of this accident and Gage’s endurance has very little to do with him enduring the mishap itself; regardless of that being quite a medical marvel, Gage’s post-accident actions is what really teaches us about organic psychology. Prior to the mishap Gage was a very well-respected foreman on the railway. He is distinguished as having preferred qualities. His co-workers understood he was an intelligent businessman, and a competent, well-organized railway building foreman.

Phineas was taken care of by a physician, Dr. John Martyn and unconstrained just 10 weeks after the mishap. Months afterward, he felt good sufficient to return to work but the mishap had caused a harsh change in him which prohibited his employers from recurring him to his prior place. Dr. Martyn had the view that Gage’s left frontal lobe had been shattered. According to Dr. Harlow, Gage had been depicted by coworkers as diligent, responsible, and highly competent prior to the mishap. After the misfortune, though, his same coworkers described him as impetuous, capricious, and unsystematic. Particularly, the changes in character and conduct described by Dr. Martyn are constant with what we now recognize about the frontal lobes of the brain: They are known to be concerned in executive execution, or multifaceted cognitive performance, which comprise actions such as desire power, decision formation, and preparation.

Gage’s injury began to hoist many questions about brain. In order to respond these questions, further analysis into the brain and cognitive gathering was defensible. “Cognition refers to a diversity of high-level brain tasks; including the capability to learn and remember data; systematize, preparation, and problem-solve; focus, preserve, and move attention as essential; appreciate and use language; precisely perceive the surroundings, and execute calculations ” (National Multiple Sclerosis Society, n.d.). The brain has several parts and each part is accountable for a different purpose. The brain composed of the Cerebral Cortex, the Left and Right Hemispheres, the Corpus Callosum, the Frontal Lobe, the Parietal, Occipital, and Temporal Lobes, the Limibic System, and the Basal Ganglia. The Center for Neuro Skills states that, “One of the most universal consequences of frontal damage can be a vivid change in social manners. An individual’s character can undergo momentous changes subsequent to an injury to the frontal lobes, particularly when both lobes are concerned” (Engelfried, 2002).

Phineas Gage’s case completed and significant though indirect involvement in the progress of brain surgery. There had been process for abscesses of the brain executed prior to Phineas’s misfortune; it was in the same year that the first brain operation to eliminate a tumor took place. This and later process were made feasible due to aseptic methods of working and the information of where some of the brains functions were contained (Willingham, 2011). An American neurologist, M. Allan Starr, was drawn in in the first large succession of cases pertaining to injury or smash up to definite areas of the brain could be connected with exacting symptoms. Starr’s cases were ended up of numerous which were associated to injury or tumors concerning the frontal lobes. Starr’s comparisons began with the frontal lobes and he used Gage as a customary (Willingham, 2011).

Gage’s mishap stimulated the reading of the brain into action. In an unharmed state the brain is competent of performing innumerable tasks quicker than the blink of an eye. Even with fraction of it being injured due to a mishap or illness, the brain has still established that it can persist to function though typically at an abridged capacity. The flexibility of the brain and the aptitude for it to recompense for definite injuries is truly a feeling. Though we now have a clutch on the brain and the functions that take place within it, it is and will almost certainly remain anonymity and continue to require research for a long period of time.


Ehow Health. (2011). Cognitive Brain Functions. Retrieved April 28, 2012 From: http://www.ehow. com/about_5312779_cognitive-brain-functions.html

Engelfried, S. (2002). Phineas Gage (Book). School Library Journal, 48(3), 247. Retrieved: April 28, 2012 from EBSCOhost.

Willingham, D. T. (2007). Cognition: The thinking animal (3re ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon. Retrieved April 29, 2012 from http://www.deakin.edu.au/hmnbs/psychology/gagepage/

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