Phineas Gage, the feral child & the unresponsive bystanders

GageSkulls2.jpg
Four representations of Phineas Gage, from Macmillan, M. (2006). Restoring Phineas Gage: A 150th Retrospective. J. Hist. Neurosci. 9: 46-66. [Abstract]

Here's some more neurohistory from the Beeb: following on from last week's episode of In Our Time, which featured a discussion about the history of the brain, is the BBC Radio 4 series Case Study, which looks at - yes, you've guessed it - individual case studies that have made significant contributions to neuroscience and psychology.

In the third episode of the series, which airs tomorrow at 11am GMT is now online, presenter Claudia Hammond discusses the famous case of railroad worker Phineas Gage, who sustained frontal lobe damage and consequently experienced personality changes, and talks to patients at a British neurorehabilitation centre who have brain injuries similar to Gage's. (I've also written about the incredible case of Phineas Gage.)

In previous episodes, Hammond examines the cases of Victor, a 12-year-old boy, who in the year 1800 emerged "naked and behaving like a wild animal" from the woods in the Aveyron district of southern France, and Kitty Genovese, who was murdered outside her New York apartment in 1964, even though 37 of her neighbours heard her cries for help during the 30-minute attack. Genovese exemplifies the unresponsive bystander effect, whereby no-one gives help because everbody assumes that someone else will act.

(Thanks, yet again, to Ross)

More like this

This year I'm taking part in the the DonorsChoose fundraiser taking place at ScienceBlogs. DonorsChoose is a website where teachers can ask to have small teaching projects funded, and potential donors can peruse the proposals can fund ones that seemed worthwhile. Many of the teachers who submit…
THE daguerreotype on the right is believed to be the only known image of railroad worker Phineas Gage, who was enshrined in the history of neuroscience one day in September, 1848, when a large iron rod he was using to tamp gunpowder into a hole in a rock caused an explosion and was propelled…
The only known photograph of famed head case Phineas Gage was discovered last month (on Flickr of all places!). Jack and Beverly Wilgus had the above daguerreotype for thirty years before realizing what it was. As they describe the image's history at their website: We called it "The Whaler"…
As I mentioned earlier in the week, I'm trying to raise money for a classroom-in-need to buy some books about neuroscience, using the case of Phineas Gage as a jumping off point. (And if you haven't yet donated, they would be most grateful for even a dollar!) I thought it would be interesting and…

no me explico como este hombre vivio despues de esto y que sus las secuelas de este accidente fueran tan simples como la agresividad y el vocabulario grotesco