Divisions of the brain
On September 13, 1848, Phineas Gage was working blasting
rock for a new railroad line outside the town of Cavendish,
Vermont. At 4:30 pm, in an accident, gun powder exploded,
carrying an instrument through his head an inch and a fourth in
circumference and three feet and eight inches in length, which
he was using at the time. The iron entered on the side of his
face, shattering the upper jaw, and passing back of the left
eye, and out the top of his head." Weighing 13-1/2 lb. the rod
had been propelled with such force that it landed some 80 feet
away. Amazingly, Gage spoke within a few minutes, walked
with little or no assistance, and sat upright in a cart for the 3/4-
mile ride to town.
Except for loss of vision in one
eye, some facial paralysis, and
severe facial disFgurement,
Gage's physical recovery was
apparently complete. 6 months
later, he returned to work, but his
employers refused to return him
to his previous position,
allegedly because of mental
changes. He displayed un-
characteristic violent and
alcohol abuse problem.
This suggested a link between the frontal lobes, emotion and
practical decision making. Gage's story is seen as the historical
beginnings of the study of the biological basis of behavior.
Cerebral cortex = outer shell of cerebrum, and is comprised
of the parietal, frontal, occipital, and temporal lobes.