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 Post subject: Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient
PostPosted: Mar Thu 26, 2020 6:45 pm 
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Each generation revises his myth. Here’s the true story.

From a Virtuous Foreman to a Sociopathic Drifter

On Sept. 13, 1848, at around 4:30 p.m., the time of day when the mind might
start wandering, a railroad foreman named Phineas Gage filled a drill hole with
gunpowder and turned his head to check on his men. It was the last normal
moment of his life.

Other victims in the annals of medicine are almost always referred to by initials
or pseudonyms. Not Gage: His is the most famous name in neuroscience.
How ironic, then, that we know so little else about the man—and that much of
what we think we know, especially about the man - especially about his life
unraveling after his accident, is probably bunk.

The Rutland and Burlington Railroad had hired Gage’s crew that fall to clear away
some tough black rock near Cavendish, Vermont, and it considered Gage the best
foreman around. Among other tasks, a foreman sprinkled gunpowder into blasting
holes, and then tamped the powder down, gently, with an iron rod. This completed,
an assistant poured in sand or clay, which got tamped down hard to confine the
bang to a tiny space. Gage had specially commissioned his tamping iron from a
blacksmith. Sleek like a javelin, it weighed 13¼ pounds and stretched 3 feet 7
inches long. (Gage stood 5-foot-6.) At its widest, the rod had a diameter of
1¼ inches, although the last foot—the part Gage held near his head when tamping
—tapered to a point.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/phin ... ket-newtab

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 Post subject: Re: Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient
PostPosted: Mar Thu 26, 2020 10:22 pm 
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Very interesting, especially the conclusion, "The brain and mind are one." Well, yes - but is it really as cut and dried as that? The concept of 'brain plasticity' discussed in the article would seem to point to one affecting the other, leading to a 'chicken or egg' conundrum of just where our personalities and mental capabilities actually spring from.

Good read!

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 Post subject: Re: Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient
PostPosted: Mar Fri 27, 2020 1:10 pm 
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Sol wrote:
Very interesting, especially the conclusion, "The brain and mind are one."
Well, yes - but is it really as cut and dried as that? The concept of 'brain plasticity'
discussed in the article would seem to point to one affecting the other, leading to a
'chicken or egg' conundrum of just where our personalities and mental capabilities
actually spring from. Good read!

Thank you. :)
Yes indeed...

More on that:

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/scie ... ket-newtab

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 Post subject: Re: Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient
PostPosted: Mar Sat 28, 2020 12:13 am 
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RadioNut39 wrote:
Thank you. :)
Yes indeed...

More on that:

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/scie ... ket-newtab


Fascinating! People like to think of themselves as completely separate from everything else, discrete, distinct, independent - but if you remove any of us from our earthly environment we sure don't last long, do we?

More information about our bodies:
http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/the-making-of-me-and-you

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 Post subject: Re: Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient
PostPosted: Mar Sat 28, 2020 3:46 am 
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Interesting. Brought to mind another accident, a bit more recent. At least this one was a bit better documented. It does relate to the unknowns that lie between our ears.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatoli_Bugorski

Not a thread hijack, just a semi-related incident.

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 Post subject: Re: Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient
PostPosted: Mar Sat 28, 2020 5:27 am 
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In either late 1984 or early 1985, Nova had a multi-episode series on the brain. One of the episodes explained Phineas Gage's accident and its aftermath on his demeanor. The episode made an impression on me, at age 10, because I was astonished that anybody could live after being impaled through the head. This has left me with two questions. First, how is it that somebody could have survived a puncture through the head by a rod of that diameter, while bullets of much smaller diameters can easily inflict fatal wounds? Second, did the doctors who met Gage notice any effects similar to those observed in split-brain patients a century later?


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 Post subject: Re: Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient
PostPosted: Mar Sat 28, 2020 12:23 pm 
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
As a neurosurgery nurse, I have occasionally seen individuals who have survived through-and-through gunshot wounds to the brain, but examples are very rare. It all depends on what section(s) of the brain are damaged. And there are always freak situations where people should die but somehow survive. I consider Gage's story to be in that category.

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 Post subject: Re: Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient
PostPosted: Mar Sat 28, 2020 2:26 pm 
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Tony Wells wrote:
Interesting. Brought to mind another accident, a bit more
recent. At least this one was a bit better documented. It does relate to the
unknowns that lie between our ears.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatoli_Bugorski
Not a thread hijack, just a semi-related incident.

No problem, Tony...
Yes...very interesting. I had not heard of this incident. Wow. :o

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