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  1. Introduction
  2. Phineas Gage incident
  3. Phrenology and holism
  4. Cognitive brain functions
  5. Conclusion

All the way through the history of psychology there have been primarily two outlooks of the localization of higher cognitive functions, phrenology and reactions to phrenology, which is the holistic approach. In present day given the latest information and studies, one of which is the Phineas Gage incident, numerous scientists have taken an approach that sticks to the middle (Cognitive Functions, 2008).

Phrenology is one outlook, assumed that each personality trait and cognitive capability has a particular piece of the brain that manages it. This notion was rapidly ignored within the early on years of study because of its proponents rejected to pursue an accurate scientific method (Cognitive Functions, 2008).

Another outlook aroused from the disagreement of phrenology. It supposed that our higher traits and cognitive functions are merely established in the cerebral cortex and the cortex functioned as a component with any segment having the ability to function for the other if need arose. The outlook as well believed that the effects on cognitive functions due to cortical wounds were due to the degree of injured tissue and not on the localization of it. This holistic outlook increase with much approval and almost neutralized all of the phrenologists' beliefs and concepts (Cognitive Functions).

It did not take very long before clinical observations contradicted and challenged the holistic outlook, especially the constant record of aphasias or language distinctions began to occur when either of two specific brain regions, Brocca and Wernicke of the cerebral cortex suffered lesions. Both of these areas are located in the left hemisphere of the brain and total up to over 80% of its makeup and can each be anatomically contained.

[...] In 1848 Phineas Gage which worked as a foreman for a construction company experienced an accident on the job. When using an iron rod to tamp down explosives into a rock he caused an explosion that threw the three foot iron tool through his face and skull. He was hurled backwards and unconscious momentarily after convulsion upon his landing. Soon after he regained consciousness and was reverted to where he was residing in a boarding house. It did not take long after his family and friends became conscious of some striking behavior and personality alterations in Phineas. [...]

[...] It is supposed today that the interactions and interconnections between systems give increase to specific cognitive functions (Cognitive Functions, 2008). By understanding and knowing this concept it can be said that, "cortical systems can be classified on the basis of the functions they participate in. As a first level, we can find the primary sensory cortices, where the information first arrives at the cortical level. Second, there are the higher order sensory cortices mentioned earlier. Third, there are association cortices" (Cognitive Functions, 2008). [...]

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