Phineas Gage Paper

In: Psychology

Submitted By Bgeemoney
Words 721
Pages 3
Phineas Gage Paper
PSY360 Cognitive Psychology
Bobbi G. Rice
November 21, 2010
Diana Keys

Phineas Gage Paper Phineas P Gage was a railway construction workman who, in 1848, received a devastating penetrating head injury. A 4 ft long tamping iron was fired by accident through his skull destroying both frontal lobes. He survived the accident by chance, the care he received from colleagues at the scene and through medical care received from doctors (Grieve, 2010). Gage remained conscious on the way to the local physician. Upon arrival, Dr. Harlow, the attending physician, bandaged his wounds, which continued to bleed for another 2 days. Gage showed no obvious, immediate mental discrepancies, but an aggressive viral infection set in at the damaged area which led to a month of semiconscious recovery. Once infection finally subsided, Gage made a complete recovery, except for blindness in his left eye and weakness in the left side of his face. Upon his returning to work it became quite evident that Mr. Gage was not entirely himself. The damage to Gage’s brain was located in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex; but, in order to understand the personality changes that Gage underwent after his recovery it is necessary to first examine the underlying neurological and cognitive interplay thereof. “The higher cognitive functions, working memory, mental imagery, and willed action, are all intimately associated with consciousness” (Frith & R, 1996, ). Perception, attention, emotion, planning and action, learning and memory, thinking, language and all other aspects of cognition all take place in the brain. If thinking is the process, using information to make decisions- then the frontal lobe is crucial for thinking, and without the frontal lobes we are at the mercy of our environment. Where we respond to events without reflection, we are unable to plan…...

Similar Documents

Phineas Gage

...Phineas Gage was a foreman for the construction crew on the Rutland and Burlington Railroad in Cavendish, Virginia. He was working on the railroad using a tamping iron to press an explosive powder into a rock. This was a normal practice for blasting away rock during the middle 1800’s. While Phineas was tamping the rod down into the rock, the iron hit part of the rock and sparked, thus igniting the powder inside the rock. This caused a blast that projected the iron rod into his left cheek and brain, then coming out the top of his skull. This did not kill him; it did not even seem to have affected his brain in a major way at first. Phineas developed an infection that had him in and out of consciousness for two months, was blind in his left eye and experienced weakness in the left side of his face. Only when he returned to work did his coworkers see the change in his personality. (Wickens, 2005). This led people to study his case and do further research on neurological and cognitive studies about how his brain was affected by this accident. The initial thought that Gage was unaffected by this accident proved to be wrong. The physician, Dr. Harlow, that tended to Gage immediately after his incident hinted that while he did not seem to be affected intellectually, he had observed changes in his personality (Kihlstrom, 2010). This shows that neuroscience and social psychology both play a role in figuring out what ails the brain as well as the person. This is......

Words: 745 - Pages: 3

Gage

...Phineas Gage Paper The brain is one of the key role players in cognitive functioning. There are many different areas in the brain but only a few certain areas have an influence on cognitive functioning. A man named Phineas Gage showed the key elements in the specific areas in the brain that do support these cognitive functions. In 1848 Phineas gage suffered a traumatic brain injury which has aided in understanding the human brain in the fields of cognitive and neuropsychologists. This paper will help to better explain the role of cognitive functioning and the brain. One will better understand the importance of Phineas Gage’s injuries and how they have helped to aid cognitive functioning and neuropsychology. The Brain and Cognitive Functioning The brain plays and important role in cognitive functioning. The ability to process thoughts and information is cognitive functioning (Willingham, 2007). Learning, memory, and perception are all examples of cognitive functioning (Willingham, 2007). Different areas of the brain support different cognitive functions. The amygdala, hippocampus, and the rhinal cortex are all responsible for memory. Emotional memory and memories which are prompted by emotional behavior are all stored in the amygdala. The hippocampus is responsible for receiving information from the senses and then translating them into an individual’s short-term memory. Learned information is recalled from the rhinal cortex. “The cerebral cortex is what is studied,......

Words: 700 - Pages: 3

Phineas Gage

...Phineas Gage Paper At the age of 25 Phineas Gage was a bright, promising foreman working for the Rutland and Burlington railroad in Cavendish, Vermont. As was the practice of the times, tamping powder was used to blast drill holes for the preparation of laying track (Wickens, 2005). Gage was using a tamping rod to compact the powder in the holes before detonation when suddenly a precipitous explosion propelled the rod, which was 1.1 meters long, 6 millimeters thick, and weighing 6 kilograms, through his left cheek and brain, exiting out the vault of his skull (Leach & O'Driscoll, 1998). Surprisingly, Gage remained conscious on the ride to the doctor. Once there, Dr. Harlow, the attending physician, bandaged his wounds, which bled for an additional 2 days. Gage showed no obvious, immediate mental deficits, but an aggressive viral infection set in at the damaged area which led to a month of semiconscious recovery. The infection finally abated and Gage made a complete recovery, except for blindness in his left eye and weakness in the left side of his face. However, upon returning to work it became quite clear that Mr. Gage was not entirely himself. The damage to Gage’s brain was localized in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex; nevertheless, in order to understand the personality changes that Gage underwent after his recovery it is necessary to first examine the underlying neurological and cognitive interplay thereof. Cognition and Neurology of Consequence Prediction The......

Words: 792 - Pages: 4

Phineas Gage

...Phineas Gage PSY/360 Abstract In 1848, there was a railroad worker named Phineas Gage, who was severely injured on the job. In this essay, the author will discuss the details of the accident and what it revealed about how the different areas of the human brain support cognitive function. I will also discuss the characteristics of primary memory, the process of memory from perception and retrieval and the unreliability of memory retrieval. Phineas Gage Phineas gage is known as one of the most famous documented cases of brain injury. This brain injury occurred on September 13th, 1848 while Gage was working on the railroad excavating rocks with a tampering rod in the State of Vermont. An explosion occurred on the job-site that caused a tampering rod propelled at an extremely high speed to enter and penetrate Gage’s skull. This tampering rod entered his skull under his left cheek bone and exited through the top of his head; it was later recovered with bits of brain matter and blood on it. The amazing thing is that throughout this horrific accident, Mr. Gage never lost consciousness, in fact, by January of the following year; he had started to live a normal life. However, it was noted that around this time, Mr. Gage was considered to be suffering from some major changes in his personality. What Phineas Gage’s Accident Reveals about Cognitive Functions “Cognition refers to the higher order functions that are needed for learning and interacting with a person's......

Words: 1718 - Pages: 7

Psy 360 Cognitive Functions and Phineas Gage

...Cognitive Functions and Phineas Gage Sherrie Y. Saunders PSY 360 Evi Pover March 18, 2013 Cognitive Functions and Phineas Gage The discussion of this paper is the role of cognitive brain functions and Phineas Gage. The amazing story of Phineas Gage will be analyzed and the explanation of cognitive functioning in regard to his situation is very interesting and is also a major topic in this paper. Cognitive brain functions will be thoroughly examined in this paper as well. Cognitive functioning is when an individual has the ability to use mental processes to learn, reason, problem solve, make decisions, and comprehend. It also helps in focusing your attention and remembering events. Without cognitive processing humans would not be able to function properly. We use these processes to eat, sleep, work, go to school, plan events, and teach. Our daily functions such as cooking, eating, completing hygiene, cleaning, washing clothes, and other life skills heavily depend on cognitive functioning. What are the cognitive functions of the brain? To answer this question we must first examine what the brain is made of and what structures in the brain create a variety of cognitions. The brain has a set of structures called the limbic system. This system is made up of the cerebrum, diencephalon, midbrain, hippocampus, amygdalae, anterior thalamic nuclei, septum, limbic cortex, and the fornix. This system helps with the functions of emotion, behavior,......

Words: 1008 - Pages: 5

Phineas Cage

...Phineas Cage Paper Daunique Irvin Psych 360 3/21/2013 Dr. Gayle Ball-Parker “The cognitive perspective focuses on the way people perceive, process, and retrieve information” (Kowalski & Westen, 2011). Cognitive psychologists are interested in how memory functions, how people solve problems and make decisions, and similar questions. Cognitive function would include any and all characteristics of an individual ’s perception, such as, sensing, reasoning, conception, imagining and remembering (Willingham, 2007). Different areas of the brain serve different cognitive functions. The thalamus is a relay station for sensory and motor information. For all senses except smell, the receptors first send information to the thalamus, which passes it on to the cortex. The Amygdala is believed to be important in the processing of emotion and probably information about social functions. Hippocampus is important in memory. The cerebellum is important in motor control (Willingham, 2007). Phineas Gage worked on a railroad and had an accident on September 13, 1848 where an explosion caused an iron from the railroad to penetrate straight through the frontal part and on the left region of 25 year old, Phineas Gage’s head (Van Horn, Irima, Togerson, Chambers, Kikinis, & Toya, 2012). A iron rod shot upwards, through the left cheek of Gage, passing behind his left eyeball, piercing his cranial vault under the left basal forebrain, passing through his brain, and......

Words: 718 - Pages: 3

Phineas Gage

...Phineas Gage Paper Stacy M Fender psy/360 July 14 2014 Brenda Edmons Phineas Gage Paper September 13, 18348 a man by the name of Phineas Gage was in a terrible railway construction accident. Phineas was in the town of Cavendish in the state of Vermont; he was tampering iron; these are around three feet long. Buy the chance the iron was fired, and it went through his head, after a CT scan which was cutting edge technology in its time, this showed the iron had gone through his cranium, destruction of his left frontal lobe. Even though he had a painful mishap, Phineas Gage made a remarkable improvement; he was alive for 12 years. He moved to San Francisco, and on the date of May 21, 1860 he died of epilepsy difficulties. The brain has been studied for many years by researchers trying to find the role cognitive functions play in the brain. Phineas was given the diagnosis of traumatic brain injury also known as TBI; this gives comprehension of how TBI's shape cognitive functions. It’s unfortunate that Phineas went through his tragic accident, but it did help researchers find the crucial knowledge of the brain and the areas that show proof of cognitive functions and how traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens. A person's cognitive abilities can foresee functional aftermath after a TBI (traumatic brain injury). The degree of concurrent rational abilities influences the significance of the functional renewal. The changes of a person's social, emotional, and behavioral......

Words: 752 - Pages: 4

Phineas Gage

... Phineas Gage and the “American Crowbar Case”. Samantha Romero PY3150 Ms. Dreskin 01-01-2015 ITT Technical Institute Phineas Gage and the “American Crowbar Case” There was a man named Phineas Gage who at 25 years old suffered a severe head injury in the year 1848, he was handsome with a pleasant disposition (Guidotti, T., 2012). The accident took place on a railroad near Cavendish, Vermont where Phineas was working (Guidotti, T., 2012). Phineas poured blasting powder into the borehole of the train track but neglected to add sand, when he tamped it down with his ‘crowbar’ the bar shot out going through his left cheek, destroying his left eye and rocketing out of his skull and landing 80 feet away (Guidotti, T., 2012). This is proven to be even more impressive because Phineas never fully lost consciousness and even considering he lost his left eye completely and neurosurgery had yet to be developed (Guidotti, T., 2012). The biggest deficit Phineas suffered was reported as a drastic change in personality and character (Guidotti, T., 2012). According to Guidotti’s article in 2012 Phineas went from being known as a “reliable, systematic and hardworking” man and after the accident was said to be “impulsive, disorganized and stubborn. His language was said to be colorfully profane, although he did not customarily swear before the injury” (Guidotti, T., 2012). Since there were no neurosurgeons during this time period, his specific injury while unfortunate allowed for some......

Words: 370 - Pages: 2

Phineas Gage

...Phineas Gage was an American railroad construction worker who is remembered for his survival of an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying much of his brain's left frontal lobe. It all happened on September 13th, 1848, when Phineas Gage’s life was forever changed. While working on a railroad project, Phineas Gage received a severe brain injury when a three foot long tamping iron went through his skull during an explosion damaging his frontal lobe. It entered through the bottom of his left cheek and exited through the top of his head. Amazingly, Phineas lived to tell the story about his accident. People who knew him before the accident said he was hard-working, but he just was not quite the same person he was after the accident occurred. In Phineas Gage’s case, his frontal lobe of his brain was affected and damaged in his accident. The frontal lobe, the biggest lobe of the brain, is responsible for conscious thought, voluntary movement, and individual personality characteristics. After the accident, Phineas’ personality had altered. He had become impulsive, unreliable, and unable to carry out his plans. He also couldn’t grasp logical thinking. He was not as organized and professional as he was before due to the damage done to his frontal lobe. With Phineas Gage’s accident, it led to the research and study of the frontal lobe because scientists could not explain why or how he survived such a terrible and tragic......

Words: 290 - Pages: 2

Pineh Gage Paper

...Phineas Gage Wilson PSY 360 10/15/14 Robert Goodnight Phinea's Gage Paper From past to present the study of psychology has lead researcher's to uncover scientifically based studies about human brain power that can manipulate numerous functions related to cognition. The human brain is responsible for memory, perception, learning, and emotions that contribute to how information is gathered; in addition, environmental factors can determine how information is recorded and utilized. The brain is a huge operating system of which human cognitive skills and abilities depend on proper brain functioning that regulate particular biological processes. Cerebral Cortex The Cerebral Cortex is a region of the brain predominantly responsible for identifying human language; environmental perception and methods of which the brain will process information retrieved. The cerebral cortex is divided into a right and left hemisphere that contains four lobes; parietal, frontal, occipital and temporal. Within the cerebral cortex each lobe controls a particular bodily function that allows us to see, hear, smell, and touch. The executive functioning happens within the frontal lobe which controls human thinking and the method of which we reason and make judgments. "The frontal lobe is susceptible to injury because of the position inside of the skull. This area of the brain is responsible for motor function, solving problems, socialization, and......

Words: 881 - Pages: 4

Cognitive Functions and Phineas Gage

...Cognitive Functions and Phineas Gage The discussion of this paper is the role of cognitive brain functions and Phineas Gage. The amazing story of Phineas Gage will be analyzed and the explanation of cognitive functioning in regard to his situation is very interesting and is also a major topic in this paper. Cognitive brain functions will be thoroughly examined in this paper as well. Cognitive functioning is when an individual has the ability to use mental processes to learn, reason, problem solve, make decisions, and comprehend. It also helps in focusing your attention and remembering events. Without cognitive processing humans would not be able to function properly. We use these processes to eat, sleep, work, go to school, plan events, and teach. Our daily functions such as cooking, eating, completing hygiene, cleaning, washing clothes, and other life skills heavily depend on cognitive functioning. What are the cognitive functions of the brain? To answer this question we must first examine what the brain is made of and what structures in the brain create a variety of cognitions. The brain has a set of structures called the limbic system. This system is made up of the cerebrum, diencephalon, midbrain, hippocampus, amygdalae, anterior thalamic nuclei, septum, limbic cortex, and the fornix. This system helps with the functions of emotion, behavior, motivation, and long term memory. The four lobes of the brain are important for the brain’s cognitive functioning. The four......

Words: 984 - Pages: 4

Phineas Gage

...Psy 260 May 15, 2011 Patricia Adesso Phineas Gage The brain is most complex of all of the organs in the body. The brain is the place where emotions, perception, planning, memory, action, thinking, learning and language, among other things, all take place. Cognitive functioning takes place in the cerebrum, the largest part of the brain and is carried out by neurons. The brain is made up of thousands of neurons that are responsible for carrying messages from the brain and into the body. These neurons interact with one another by releasing a neurotransmitter that fits on to the receptor of a neighboring neuron. When the receptor is triggered in the brain it causes the body to react, act, think, feel, learn and so forth. But how does this actually work? Brain imaging has given us some insight to answer this question. Brain imaging like MRI’s, CAT, and PET scans all help in discovering the brains role in cognitive functioning. Advances in imaging technology have helped researchers pin point which areas of the brain are responsible for thinking, learning and memory. By recording activity of the brain in action, researchers can examine the systems of brain regions that participate in different cognitive functions, ranging from basic sensory and motor functions to complex functions like reasoning and language understanding. According to the Center for Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC) at the University of Pittsburg “To discover how brain cells actually support cognitive......

Words: 827 - Pages: 4

Phineas Gage

...Phineas Gage Megan Libey PSY 360 Melissa Jackson Phineas Gage Phineas Gage was a foreman working for the railroad in Vermont. In those days blasting holes was the normal procedure to gain access to lay the railroad down. Gage was using tamping powder to drill holes with a tamping iron. He would use the iron to pack the powder in holes and suddenly there was an explosion which led the tamping iron which was now protruding from left cheek and part of the brain and hanging out from his skull (Twomey, 2010). He had everyone one of his co-workers looking at him in amazement since he never loss consciousness. The Doctor that examined Gage was amazed as well and cleaned and bandages his wounds. Phineas Gage was a well mannered person, who enjoyed working before the accident, but afterwards a vicious viral infection had done the toll and recovery was long and hard. Gage was recovering well physically, but the infection had robbed him of sight in his left eye and decreased sensation on his left face. Gage did return to laying down tracks for the railroad but everyone who knew him saw he was a changed man (Wagar, 2004). Cognition Functions with Phineas Gage Antonio Damaiso showed research based on somatic-marker hypothesis in Phineas Gage that allowed people to understand that patients with frontal lobe damage was evidence that brain’s regions for making decisions are strongly connected to emotional centers (Barnes & Thagard). Somatic markers can help......

Words: 879 - Pages: 4

Phineas Gage

...personal space or the anticipated reward value of environmental cues. Ongoing studies will shed light on the way the brain represents and transforms information in the performance of a wide range of cognitive activities Phineas P. Gage (1823-1860) was a railway construction workman who, in 1848, received a devastating penetrating head injury. A 4 foot long tamping iron was fired by accident through his skull destroying both frontal lobes. He survived the accident by chance, the care he received from colleagues at the scene and through medical care received from doctors. Gage remained conscious on the way to the local physician. Upon arrival, Dr. Harlow, the attending physician, bandaged his wounds, which continued to bleed for another 2 days. Gage showed no obvious, immediate mental discrepancies, but an aggressive viral infection set in at the damaged area which led to a month of semiconscious recovery. Once infection finally subsided, Gage made a complete recovery, except for blindness in his left eye and weakness in the left side of his face. Upon his returning to work it became quite evident that Mr. Gage was not entirely himself. The damage to Gage’s brain was located in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex; but, in order to understand the personality changes that Gage underwent after his recovery it is necessary to first examine the underlying neurological and cognitive interplay thereof. Perception, attention, emotion, planning and action, learning and memory,......

Words: 1027 - Pages: 5

Gage

...research, inference, experiments and actual real life occurrences. Such was the case of Phineas Gage (1823 – 1860), a young foreman on the railroad in the mid 1800’s who survived a blasting accident which destroyed a part of his brain. Documentation on Mr. Gage’s health and personality before and after the accident opened the door to the role of the brain in cognitive functions. Phineas Gage’s accident and apparent recovery precipitated the idea that there was a connection between the human brain and the personality. First, prior to Mr. Gage’s phenomenal recovery from the loss of a substantial part of his brain, scientists believed that the brain was an entire “organ”, and that all of it was needed to function at all. The incidence with Phineas’ recovery and his continual capability to function altered scientific thinking substantially. Secondly, the adaptation that he made in his personality opened further doors for studying the cognitive adaptability of the brain. According to friends and collegues, Gage was no longer Gage. Once a friendly and affable, easy to get along with individual, he became stubborn, argumentative and forgetful, unable to organize his life in a reasonable manner. He could no longer hold down a job. Phineas Gage died 12 years after a rod pierced his skull and permanently damaged his frontal cortex. The scientific studies that followed the reports of Phineas Gage’s accident and recovery led scientists to determine that the brain, while......

Words: 619 - Pages: 3