Phineas Gage the most famous Brain injury survivor

Essay by UmmmHuhUniversity, Bachelor'sA, October 2008

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Behavior has a biological basis, with reference to three fundamentals in biology (Taflinger, 1996):1.Self-preservation: A human's first instinct is to stay alive. This could include physical and economical needs. The major strife here is to live healthy.

2.Why self-preserve or reproduce: Humans, like animals have hunger, thirst, fears, and feel tired. Physical senses need to be satisfied. Therefore, our behavior acts accordingly in order to satisfy them. The way we react is instinctive. In turn, we eat, drink, and sleep.

3.Greed is a method to self-preserve and reproduce: This is to be thought of in a negative context. We gather resources, and the more we have the better we are off.

Dr. Nuland (2008) refers to such concepts when he speaks of the human spirit in connection with the functions of the brain cortex. The cortex synthesizes information from stimuli and uses it to interpret and maintain an equilibrium, which dictates how we react to the stimuli.

In the case of Gage, the damage to the prefrontal cortex altered his decision-making, temperament, and ability to engage socially. Understanding what happened to Gage pre and post his accident, helped introduce to researchers a new concept in behavior versus physical functions. The frontal lobotomy came into action in the 1940s, which supported the theory that the prefrontal cortex dictated behavior. However, it does affect the functions of memory, sensory, or emotional systems. (Schaffhausen, 1996). Or does it?In the case of Anita Welch, she was lobotomized for postpartum depression. After that, she was committed and ended up in a nursing home. I would have to say that Anita was affected emotionally. I was horrified when I read she went through such a surgery for a depression that is usually not a permanent state. However, it was 1953 and research was...