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here's what's so fascinating about Phineas Gage

In the grand scheme of things, there aren't many ordinary, everyday people who have names remembered by historians, psychologists, and medical professionals alike. Unless, that is, something extraordinary happens to them. The extraordinary certainly happened to Phineas Gage on September 13, 1848. Unfortunately for Gage, the powers-that-be decided to go with the sort of extraordinary that could also be called "gruesome" or "horrific." He's still studied today; we haven't figured out just what...

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here's what's so fascinating about Phineas Gage

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    Why Scientists Are Still Fascinated By Phineas Gage

    Why Scientists Are Still Fascinated By Phineas Gage

    In the grand scheme of things, there aren't many ordinary, everyday people who have names remembered by historians, psychologists, and medical professionals alike. Unless, that is, something extraordinary happens to them. The extraordinary certainly happened to Phineas Gage on September 13, 1848. Unfortunately for Gage, the powers-that-be decided to go with the sort of extraordinary that could also be called "gruesome" or "horrific." He's still studied today; we haven't figured out just what happened to him, so we've even kept his skull around for reference.

    The Untold Truth Of Phineas Gage

    The Untold Truth Of Phineas Gage

    Phineas Gage has been called "neuroscience's most famous patient." On September 14, 1848, the railroad foreman suffered a grusome accident that seems completely impossible to survive. As Sam Kean wrote for Slate in 2014, Gage and his crew were working near Cavendish, Vermont. He became momentarily distracted while tamping gunpowder down into a hole using a specially commissioned rod weighing a little over 13 pounds and a little over 43 inches long. The rod was about an inch-and-a-quarter in diameter, "although the last foot — the part Gage held near his head when tamping — tapered to a point." The tamping process produced a spark that ignited the gunpowder and sent the rod "rocketing" into Gage's face. It entered below his left cheekbone, destroyed a molar, slid behind his left eye, through "the underbelly of his brain's left frontal lobe," and through his skull, exiting out of the top of his head.

    Medical Mysteries That Changed Everything We Knew

    Medical Mysteries That Changed Everything We Knew

    Not so very long ago, doctors thought disease was caused by an imbalance of "humors," which consisted of two different disgusting types of bile, the stuff that collects in the back or your throat when you have a cold, and blood. Oh and everything could be cured with leeches. Today we know better, mostly. The medical mysteries of the past are the vaccinations, sanitations, and food pyramids of the present. Here's a short list of some of the medical mysteries that changed everything.

    What Would Happen If Your Brain Was Split In Half

    What Would Happen If Your Brain Was Split In Half

    The capacity for the human brain to survive immense trauma is an astounding aspect of our biology. 18th-century rail worker Phineas Gage was immortalized in medical history for surviving twelve years after a 13-pound rail spike was accidentally driven through his skull and brain. There are many recorded cases of individuals surviving typically fatal wounds such as gunshots to the head. Of those who do make it, many are left impaired in some way while others manage to carry on as though nothing had happened.

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