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Phineas Gage

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Matt Van

on 22 January 2013

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Transcript of Phineas Gage

By Matthew Van Phineas Gage Case Study Phineas Gage Case Study Tutorial John Martyn Harlow The study of the functions of different parts of the brain based on a case of a severe brain damage survivor. What's being investigated? 1848 The Incident Also known as the American Crowbar Case
Explosion occurred due to sparks struck by iron bar and rock
The explosion caused the iron bar to went through Gage's head, before landing 25m away, smearing in "blood and brain". September 13, 1848 Aim To determine the reasons between Gage's survival and the importance of the damaged part of the brain in the change of Gage's psychological condition Definition of Command Term Explain: Give a detailed account including reasons or causes. Left Brain Function The left hemisphere is responsible for these following functions:
critical thinking
reasoning Right Brain Function The right hemisphere is responsible for these following functions:
recognizing faces
expressing and reading emotions
creativity Explain-Give a detailed account including reasons or causes. Step 1 Definition of Command Term The damage to Gage's frontal cortex had resulted in a complete loss of social inhibitions, which often led to inappropriate behaviour. Gage became irritable, profane, and dishonest after the incident. In effect, the tamping iron had performed a frontal lobotomy on Gage, but the exact nature of the damage incurred to his brain has been a subject of debate ever since the accident occurred. This is because the damage can only be inferred from the path of the tamping iron through Gage's skull, which in turn can only be inferred from the damage to the skull. Step 2 Results of the Phineas Gage Case Study Results The cerebral cortex damaged by the iron bar had an effect on Gage's psychological changes.
The damage is mostly to the left hemisphere of the cortex.
Gage became irritable, profane, and dishonest.
Gage's skull was damaged in three places: there is a small wound under the left zygomatic arch (cheek bone) where the tamping iron entered; another is located in the orbital bone in the base of the skull behind the orbit of the eye; and the third, and largest, wound is in the top of the skull, where the tamping iron exited. The exit wound was enormous, and never healed. It can be seen today in Gage's as an irregularly-shaped triangular hole, about 2 inches wide and 4 inches in circumference, and another, nearly 3 inches in circumference. These are separated by one of the flaps of skull that was replaced by Harlow upon arriving at Gage's boarding house. Because the circumference of the wound in the frontal bone is much larger than the maximum diameter of the tamping iron, it is difficult to determine precisely the trajectory of the iron and where it exited Gage's skull. Limitations External Validity: Cannot be generalized for the whole population since ther was only one subject.
Internal Validity: Fungus infected his brain during case study; was a confounding variable. Step 3 Frontal Cortex Prefrontal Cortex ability to recognize future consequences resulting from current actions
to choose between good and bad actions (or better and best)
override and suppress socially unacceptable responses
and determine similarities and differences between things or events. planning complex cognitive behavior
personality expression
decision making
moderating social behavior. Learning Prompt Explain one study related to localization of function in the brain: Phineas Gage Before the incident, Gage was described as a affable, hard working, pleasant man. After the accident, he was considered as dishonest, cantankerous, and an aggressive drunkard who was unable to hold down a job. Gage's case confirmed findings that damage to the prefrontal cortex could result in personality changes while leaving other neurological functions intact. The specific changes observed in his behavior pointed to emerging theories about the localization of brain function, or the idea that certain functions are associated with specific areas of the brain. Gage’s case is one of the very first cases which provides evidence that the frontal cortex is involved in personality.
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