The case study of Phineas Gage

Essay by UmmmHuhUniversity, Bachelor'sA, February 2009

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The case study of Phineas Gage really shone light on the connection between the brain and a person's personality. Before his accident Phineas was well liked by others and everybody thought he was a joy to work with and to be around."Full of vim and vigor, he was well liked by the men in his charge, and his superiors were impressed with his skill at handling dangerous explosives" (Schaffhausen,n.d.). On that terrible day when he had his accident and received his brain injury everything changed. Schaffhausen stated that although he was injured he was still conscious even when he was examined by the physicians at the hotel and that he was able to account for details of his accident. Apparently, his memory was still intact as was his speech and motor skills. However people noticed a change in Gage's personality."His personality underwent a dramatic shift, changing his disposition to such a degree that his friends barely recognized him.

"Gage," they said, "was no longer Gage."(Schaffhausen, n.d.). It was noted once his brain was autopsied years later that the rod had been pushed through the very front of his brain. "Gage's accident seemed to suggest that the prefrontal cortex controls decision making, especially in social situations, and has a great deal of influence on temperament" (Schaffhausen, n.d.). It has been noted that Gage was not the only one that showed great personality changes after injury to the frontal part of the brain, which has confirmed the theory that this front area of the brain does control how people deal with social situations and behave in them and that it greatly influences their character/personality. it was noted that these people just like Gage had trouble holding their jobs, made decisions that where against their best interests...