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Case of Phineas Gage

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  1. Introduction
  2. The Brain and Cognition
  3. Phineas Gage's Case
  4. Phineas Gage's Injuries for Cognitive Research
  5. Conclusion

The brain in all of its complexity has fascinated philosophers and researchers for hundreds of years. The brain plays a role in all forms of behavior, sensory perception, subjective perception, subjective feeling, thought, and bodily function. The structures of the brain are responsible for independent functions as well as collaborative functions between all structures. The roles of the brain are numerous and each role is important to human life. One important role is the brain's role in cognition.

The Brain and Cognition

Each structure of the brain has some role in cognitive function. Shreeve (2010) states, ?A contemporary of Descartes named Thomas Willis often referred to as the father of neurology was the first to suggest that not only was the brain itself the locus of the mind, but that different parts of the brain give rise to specific cognitive functions? (para. 3). This introduced the belief of the brain functioning as a subjective mind that had no physical being with the help of physical structures of the brain. Thomas Willis believed that the brain structures had specific cognitive functions. Later researchers such as Wenicke and Broca proved that some structures do have specific cognitive function through studying individuals with severe brain damage.

[...] The anterior frontal lobes, which is important to intellect, motor skills, language, and memory, were undamaged. The x-rays finally shed light on the reasons Gage could stay conscious, walk and talk despite his tragic injury but had such radical personality changes. Conclusion A large amount of research is required to understand how the structures of the brain work independently and collaboratively in the role of cognition, but the case of Phineas Gage helped and continues to help researchers to understand what structures of the brain were important to cognition as [...]

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