Phineas Gage Paper

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Phineas Gage Paper December 3, 2011 Psy 380 The brain is an astonishing assembly intended to multi-task on a persistent basis. Along with regulating the body's many procedures, it also synchronizes the cognitive functions that differentiate humans from other species. Human processes, emotions and routine thought and movement are all coordinated by one or more regions of the cognitive brain. Within the following paper the writer will explain the role of the brain in cognitive functions. The writer will also describe what Phineas Gage’s accident revealed about how brain areas support cognitive function. Phineas Gage was a 25 year old bright, promising foreman working for the Rutland and Burlington railroad in Cavendish, Vermont. It was the practice of the times, tamping powder was used to blast drill holes for the preparation of laying track. Gage was using a tamping rod to compress the powder in the holes before explosion when unexpectedly a quick explosion pushed 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 (Jeanty, 2011). Gage remained conscious on the way to the doctor. Once there, Dr. Harlow, bandaged his wounds, which bled for 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 half-conscious recovery. The infection finally decreased and Gage made a complete recovery, with the exception of blindness in his left eye and weakness in the left side of his face. However, upon returning to work it became quite clear that Gage was not completely 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

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