Remarkable story about Phineas Gage

Essay by UmmmHuhUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, October 2008

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Strange (2008) is a remarkable story about Phineas Gage, who on September 13, 1848, survived an iron rod being propelled through the frontal lobe of his skull. The story goes on to tell how he seemed to completely recover from the incident, which was a minor miracle in itself considering the absence of antibiotics. Strange (2008) However, it was not a full recovery, the story of Gage's life after that point became a tale of another person. According to Strange (2008) "his personality underwent a dramatic shift". In addition, his friends stated, "Gage was no longer Gage". In other words his personality went through such a dramatic change, that although he looked exactly like the same man, his demeanor was not. Strange (2008) goes on to cororilate how this was not a fluke in change in personality, and talks about how other peoples personality changed after trauma to the prefrontal cortex.

Later, other procedures have gone on to support this theory and help us conclude that behavior has, atleast some, biological basis. Pinel (2008) p. 16 discusses prefrontal lobotomy, which is "a surgical procedure in which the connections between the prefrontal lobes and the rest of the brain are cut as treatment for mental illness". Pinel (2008) p. 17 says that these procedures produced many side effects including "emotional unresponsiveness and amorality"Finally, specific case studies besides Gage support this idea of lobotomy affecting lives. All (2005) talks about other lobotomy's done by Walter freeman, and gives examples such as Ellen Ionesco who was claimed to be violently suicidal beforehand, and afterwards no emotion. It almost sounds like her emotion was turned off.

In conclusion, because of such a wide range of results Lobotomy's are not routinely done like in the 1940's, yet these procedures and their history starting...