Phineas Gage

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Phineas P. Gage (1823 – May 21, 1860) was an American railroad construction foreman remembered for his improbable [B1] :19 survival of an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying much of his brain's left frontal lobe , and for that injury's reported effects on his personality and behavior over the remaining twelve years of his life— ​​effects sufficiently profound (for a time at least) that friends saw him as "no longer Gage."   [H] :14

Jack and Beverly Wilgus, collectors of vintage photographs, no longer recall how they came by the 19th-century daguerreotype of a disfigured yet still-handsome man. It was at least 30 years ago. The photograph offered no clues as to where or precisely when it had been taken, who the man was or why he was holding a tapered rod. But the Wilguses speculated that the rod might be a harpoon, and the man’s closed eye and scarred brow the result of an encounter with a whale.

If you've taken a psychology class, or ever had a passing interest in psychology, then you have probably at least heard of Phineas Gage. As the popular story goes, Gage was seriously injured when a metal rod pierced through his skull, destroying a large section of his brain. Miraculously, the man survived, but the accident left him a changed man, a shadow of his former self. Or at least, that's how the popular story goes.