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Phineas Gage

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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 environment. Each human brain is capable of multiple cognitive functions, such as memory, attention, executive functions and language. Each of the cognitive brain functions is highly interconnected, with an exchange of information between functions” (Stannard, 2010). When Phineas Gage's accident occurred, many people were skeptical because it was such a horrific accident, and it was hard to believe that anyone could survive an ordeal like that and lead any type of normal life. The accident occurred in...