Phineas Gage: Neuroscience’s most Famous Case


Phineas Gage"Here is business enough for you," Gage told the first doctor to treat him after a premature detonation on a railroad-building site turned a tamping iron into a missile. (From the collection of Jack and Beverly Wilgus (Image laterally reversed to show the features in the correct position since daguerreotype is a mirror image)


An accident with a metal rod Phineas Gage caused months of brain injury in history. 
"This is enough work for you," Gage told the first doctor who treated him after he detonated a premature detonation at the railroad station's location.
Jack and Beverly Wilgus did not remember old photos - how they found the original 19th-century portrait of a man who was deformed but good-looking, at least 30 years ago. The picture did not support any evidence of where or rather when it was taken; of the man in it or why he had a pointed stick. But the Wellgos speculated that the rod might be a whale, and the man's sagging eye and scrapped eyebrow were the result of a battle with a whale.
Over the years, the picture remained framed in the couple's home in Baltimore, thinking that the man inside was a wounded whale hunter. In December 2007, Beverley published a copy of the photo on the Flickr website to publish the pictures and commented "The One-eyed Man with Harps." Shortly thereafter, one of the whale hunters said: "This is not a harpoon, and the man is not a whale. Several months later, another reporter told her that the man might be Phineas Gage, and if true, this would be his first known picture.
Phineas Cage
Phineas Cage
Beverly did not hear Gage before I searched him on the Internet and found an exciting story. In 1848, 25-year-old Veneas Gage was head of the crew responsible for cutting the railway route in Cavendish, Vermont. When the iron bar was used to detonate an explosive powder in a hole on September 13, the gunpowder exploded. The 43-inch, 1.25-pound, 13.25-pound iron bar sprang up toward the sky, breaking the left cheek, ripping his brain and crossing his skull, descending dozens of steps away. Although he had blinded his left eye but still did not lose his consciousness, he remained conscious of telling the doctor that day: "Here is enough work for you."
Najat Gage's initial fame ensured him great fame, but his name was immortalized by a note by Martin Harlow, the doctor who treated him for several months after the accident. Feenias Gage's friends had found him, Harlow wrote: "Gage is no longer." The balance between his mental abilities and his animal tendencies has faded. He could not abide by a plan, the most insidious speaker, showing little difference from his colleagues. The railway construction company that employed her - and which she had seen as the ideal employer - refused to re-hire him. So he returned to work in a stable in New Hampshire, the bus leg in Chile, and finally joined some of his relatives in San Francisco, where he died in March 1860 at the age of 36, after a series of fits.
At the time, Gage became the most patient patient in neuroscience, because his condition was the first of its kind to suggest a link between brain damage and personality changes. Professor Malcolm McMillan of the University of Melbourne wrote in his book "A Strange Kind of Fame: The Tales of Phineas Gage" that two thirds of the introductions of psychological textbooks mentioned Gage. Even today, his skull, the iron bar, and a mask made for his face while alive, remain one of the most important things in the Warren Museum of anatomy on campus at Harvard Medical School.
Phineas Cage's mask
Phineas Cage's mask
Michael Spurlock, database manager in Missoula, Montana, saw the couple's photograph on the Flickr website in December 2008. The moment he saw the instrument with the one-eyed man, Spurlock immediately learned that she was not pregnant. Very short, and does not contain a wooden arrow. And thought it looked more like a stuffed iron. Immediately jumped the name to his head: Phineas Gage. Spurlock knows the story of Gage enough to realize that any picture of him will be the first to appear publicly. He has also learned enough to be deceived by the appearance of Phineas Gage, if he is actually a gage.
Stories about his changing personality have gone beyond Harlow's observations over the years. McMillan says: "A bad-tempered, lazy skier turns into a man, but the guy in the picture on Flickr's site seems confident and good-looking."
Spurlock told the couple that the man in their photo was probably Phineas Gage. When Beverley finished her search on the Internet, she concluded that the man was indeed Cage. She sent a copy of the picture to the Warren Museum, and eventually came to Jack Eckert, the secretary of the Harvard Medical History Library.
"What a startling moment, it must be Gage," says Ekert. How much of a 19th-century man with a damaged eye and a wounded forehead had a photo taken of them with an iron instrument? An iron tool with inscriptions? "
The couple did not notice the engraving of the inscriptions before, in the end the measurement does not exceed 2.75 * 3.25 inches. But a few days after receiving the Spurlock note, Jack, the retired professor of photography, directed his camera at the picture. "There is a writing on this stick," Jack said. "He could not read it completely, but part of it seemed to say"
The couple went to Harvard in March 2009 to compare the picture they had with the mask of Phineas Gage and the iron bar engraved on it during Cage's life: "This stick that was launched penetrates the head of Mr. Vinhas Gage," with the mistake of writing the name.
Harvard has not officially announced that the picture is for Gage, but McMillan, with whom the couple will later follow, was absolutely certain. He also learned in another way that Keej was being held by one of his relatives. "I opened the lobby door and told my wife," she said, when he replied that his intuition was correct.

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