Reconstructing What Happened to Phineas Gage

Christian Jarrett, editor/writer over at the informative and entertaining British Psychological Society Research Digest, has just posted a piece on the latest attempt by researchers to reconstruct what happened to Phineas Gage.  Gage, of course, is one of the most famous neurology patients in history.  In 1848, due to an explosion, a large iron rod went through his face and brain, out the top of his head.  Amazingly, Gage survived, living until 1860.  Jarrett looks at a new study using imaging data:

Now Gage’s skull has been analysed yet again. A team of experts, led by John Van Horn, based at the University of California and Harvard Medical School, has used diffusion imaging data, together with anatomical MRI, to try to find out how Gage’s injury affected the connective tissues of his brain. As they explain: ‘while many authors have focused on the gross damage done by the iron to Gage’s frontal cortical grey matter, little consideration has been given to the degree of damage to and destruction of major connections between discretely affected regions and the rest of his brain.’

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