posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 11:51 PM
Phineas P. Gage (1823 - May 21, 1860) was a railroad construction worker who suffered an unusual kind of traumatic brain injury which inflicted severe
damage to parts of his frontal brain during a work accident. Gage reportedly had significant changes in personality and temperament, which provided
some of the first evidence that specific parts of the brain, particularly the frontal lobes, might be involved in specific psychological processes
dealing with emotion, personality and problem solving.
On September 13, 1848, Phineas Gage was working outside the small town of Cavendish, Vermont on the construction of a railroad track where he was
employed as a foreman. One of his duties was to set explosive charges in holes drilled into large pieces of rock so they could be broken up and
removed. This involved filling the hole with gunpowder, adding a fuse, and then packing in sand with the aid of a large tamping iron. Gage was
momentarily distracted and forgot to pour the sand into one hole. Thus, when he went to tamp the sand down, the tamping iron sparked against the rock
and ignited the gunpowder, causing the iron to be blown through Gage's head with such force that it landed almost thirty meters behind him.
Proof of just how resiliant our brains really are. His skull is in the Smithsonian. It's impressive. There's a large hole in the top frontal
portion of his head.