Phineas Gage: Contributions to Cognitive Psychology

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Phineas Gage: Contributions to Cognitive Psychology PSY 360 02/10/2011 Abstract “I think therefore I am” this famous quote by Rene Descartes can easily sum up the human condition. However it raises the question “where does thought come from?” In the study of cognitive psychology the examination of the brain is essential to understanding how and where thought originates. Gage’s accident gave a greater insight into how the brain structures affect learning, memory and emotion. In the case of Phineas Gage, he began his life as an even tempered, well manner and very organized individual. After the accident it appeared that he had become someone completely different exhibiting behaviors that were opposite of his core personality. Contributions to Cognitive Psychology “I think therefore I am” this famous quote by Rene Descartes can easily sum up the human condition. However it raises the question “where does thought come from?” In the study of cognitive psychology the examination of the brain is essential to understanding how and where thought originates. Early on in the science of psychology two standard schools of thought prevailed, the holistic and the phrenology or the idea that cognitive capabilities are separated throughout the brain. Although both have something to offer neither can claim full victory over truth. It is a delicate balance of the holistic and the sectional concepts that constitute the whole brain affect in cognitive psychology (Gutierrez & Ormsby, 2010). One of the earliest concepts of cognitive concepts was found in the science of phrenology. Phrenology stated that there were specific areas of the brain that directly related to personality traits and cognitive ability. This concept although well intentioned and closer to the truth than originally thought failed to stand up to the

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