Did You Know A Man Who Had An Iron Rod Pierce Through His Skull Lived To Tell The Tale?

Phineas Gage was the man with a remarkable story. The 25 year old became the centre of attention in the science and psychological world in 1848 when he survived a 3 foot long iron rod propelling through his skull.

Phineas Gage Psychology

He was a worker on a railroad project in Vermont. Whilst working with explosives to break down large unwanted rocks, Gage made one mistake which led to the event.

The rock would have a hole drilled into it, filled with gun powder and then topped off with sand which would prevent any premature explosion. The iron rod would then be used to pack down the gun powder. Gage forgot to add sand, and when he tried packing the gun powder, the rod created a spark, exploding the gun powder sending the 14 pound iron rod straight through his skull.

Phineas Gage still lived another 11 years after the event. But it was evident he was a different person. Friends no longer considered him as ‘Gage’ as his personality had changed so much.

The parts of his brain that were affected were investigated in relation to his changed behaviour and gave new clues as to what parts of the brain control behaviour and personality.

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