Phineas Gage Paper

Topics: Traumatic brain injury, Psychology, Phineas Gage Pages: 3 (896 words) Published: June 5, 2013
Phineas Gage Paper|
Gerald Thauberger|
Lori Vrbsky Psy 360 |

Phineas Gage Paper
There are many cognitive functions that the brain performs on a daily basis. People can survive with traumatic brain injuries or strokes and still function to a point. The brain is an amazing organ that can be resilient and bounce back from brain injuries due to an accident or stroke, depending on which areas of the brain are affected. If certain areas of the brain are affected then the person could lose the ability to see, speak, remember, function, or even die. A person’s brain continues to change and develop throughout their lifetime, even if parts of the brain become necrotic due to dementia and other disorders. The best known case of how a person can survive and have a relatively normal life after a brain injury was Phineas Gage. His story is an amazing one that is hard to believe.

There are several parts of the brain that are responsible for the cognitive functions. One part of the brain that is responsible for cognitive functions is the amygdala. The amygdala is an almond shaped set of nuclei that control emotions such as fear, disgust, anger, and even pleasure. The amygdala is also responsible for what memories that the brain stores. For this reason, if the amygdala is damaged, then a person might lose their ability to control their temper, or the ability to remember their childhood.
Another part of the brain that is responsible for cognitive function is the Wernicke’s area and the Broca’s region. Both of these regions are named for the person who discovered them. They both are responsible for speech and how we talk. It is also involved in how a person understands written and spoken language. For this reason, if a person sustains damage to either of these areas, then they could lose the ability to speak or understand words that are spoken to them or written words.

The story of Phineas Gage is the most famous story of how neuroscience plays...


Bibliography: Shreeve, James. (1996-2013). Beyond The Brain. National Geographic Magazine. Retrieved from: http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/health-and-human-body/human-body/mind-brain/#page=6.
Twomey, Steve. (January 2010). Phineas Gage: Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient. Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved from: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Phineas-Gage-Neurosciences-Most-Famous-Patient.html?c=y&page=2.
Unknown. (2010). The Case of Phineas Gage. Countway Library of Medicine. Harvard Medical School. Retrieved from: https://www.countway.harvard.edu/menuNavigation/chom/warren/exhibits.html.
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