Phineas Gage, who has a 1 meter iron rod on his head, is alive, but what has changed in his life is neither his skull nor his physical health. Gage becomes a completely different person after this event.
In 1848, as a result of an explosion during a railroad construction in the United States, the 2.5 cm. 1 m in width. the american rail worker who survived despite the length of iron and recovered after a few months.
After this incident, interesting personality traits started to be seen in the gage; He had become a messy, anti-social, abusive person. He died about 13 years later in misery. This event has gone down in the history of medicine and constituted a historical beginning to research on the biological basis of human behavior.
Accident of Phineas Gage
On September 13, 1848, Phineas Gage was working for the Rutland & Burlington Railway outside Cavendish, Vermont, as the master of a group of workers blasting rock to prepare the gravel layer. One of Gage’s missions is that after drilling a hole in the body of a boulder, fill the gunpowder, wick and sand and mix the mixture inside the hole; At about 16.30 am an explosion occurred, possibly due to the poor settling of the sand:
… the gunpowder exploded and threw the 3-centimeter-wide and 45-centimeter-long device into his head, which he was currently using. The iron pipe slid past his face, passed behind his left eye, and came out over his head.
The fact that in the 19th century Gage was referred to as the “crowbar case in America” may mislead readers. At the end of the levers in America at that time, as today’s word “crowbar” suggests, there was no bent part or claw-shaped section. Gage’s “kick-off lever” consisted of a cylinder “without corners and relatively worn for use”.
The tip that entered Gage’s face first was sharpened, and this tapering lasted 30 centimeters backwards. It is possible that this is a situation where Gage owes his life. The crowbar was not like the other kick levers; This “sudden and unexpected visitor”, weighing close to 6 kilograms, was found “soaked in blood and brain” at a distance of about 25 meters by a local blacksmith.
Apart from surviving the accident, there is no damage other than losing an eye. But there are serious changes in Gage’s character.
This brother heals within a few months after the accident, gets normal scores on standard IQ tests; is successful in memory and attention tests (preserved basic cognitive processes). But as has been said before, its character has changed in daily life (problematic, financial and social decision-making processes …).
The skull of the gage was examined in the iowa laboratory and the damaged area was found to be the ‘vetromedial prefrontal cortex’.
vmpfk: marking the relationship of a specific stimulus or complex environmental condition and physiological change (somatic state).
There is no somatic response to stimuli with emotional content in patients with vmpfk lesions.
The decrease in emotional response and feeling activities causes the effect of the experience to disappear. Patients with vmpfk damage only make instant calculations when making decisions; since experience and old information are not taken as input to decision-making processes.