It’s 13 September 1848, Gage is on his way for work, actually, he’s on his way to change the course of neuroscience. Like every other day gauge completed his morning chores and leaves for his job. But today was a different day. while at work, dynamite blew an iron rod right through Gage’s jaw through his skull nearly damaging left frontal lobe but he miraculously survived. This rod changed gage’s personality, behavior, and thinking. Also how we thought about the brain. Giving complete different perspective on how the brain works, what part of the brain controls what actions we do. what patterns of thinking, feeling, behaving are connected to the physical brain. We today know the frontal cortex plays an important role in language, reasoning, and socialcognition.But in early 1800 this was still under infancy but it definitely lead them to connect it with personality.
In 1968, Harlow Doctor of Gage presented the first account of the changes in Gage’s behavior following the accident:
“The equilibrium or balance, so to speak, between his intellectual faculties and animal propensities, seems to have been destroyed. He is fitful, irreverent, indulging at times in the grossest profanity (which was not previously his custom), manifesting but little deference for his fellows, impatient of restraint or advice when it conflicts with his desires, at times pertinaciously obstinate, yet capricious and vacillating, devising many plans of future operations, which are no sooner arranged than they are abandoned in turn for others appearing more feasible. A child in his intellectual capacity and manifestations, he has the animal passions of a strong man. Previous to his injury, although untrained in schools, he possessed a well-balanced mind, and was looked upon by those who knew him as a shrewd, smart businessman, very energetic and persistent in executing all his plans of operation. In this regard his mind was radically changed, so decidedly that his friends and acquaintances said he was ‘no longer Gage.'”
When Gage’s skull was exhumed with his mother’s permission.In the coffin along with Gage was also the bar that Gage took along with him everywhere. Even to his grave.
Gage gives a tremendous challenge to science till date and equally hope for many with brain injuries.
1) An Odd Kind of Fame – Stories of Phineas Gage (Bradford Books) by Malcolm Macmillan
Himali Kelvekar, Student of English literature with a minor in communication, media and Psychology at christ university, Bangalore with a on-ground work experience in content writing ,editing,designing and public relations.
Sahil Takshak A student of Delhi University. Writing is my first love. Passionate about fitness, travelling, human psychology, cooking, politics, music, movies and books.