Thursday, August 9, 2012

Your Phineas Gage Review - Summer Assignment Part 2: Due Aug. 20

After you have read Phineas Gage and worked on the Phineas Gage Reading Guide Questions you should post your review of the book in the COMMENTS to THIS blog post.    (use the "comment" link below this post) 

Your comment should be a review of the book. A book review is a critical assessment of the book in which you share your opinions about the book and back up those opinions with examples from the book. Be sure to describe the story and the style of the book. 

Some questions you might want to think about as you write: What did you think of the book? What did you find most interesting? What are some new or surprising things you learned from the book? Why do you think Phineas was "lucky" or "unlucky?" Are there other texts (books, movies, etc.) that relate to the story of Phineas? Why or why would you not recommend it to a friend? 

As with the last blog assignment, I will not show the comments until the deadline so everyone has a chance to work on the assignment without being too influenced by other peoples' work. Do not re-send your post multiple times.
Please note: I will be out of town and mostly away from internet access from Aug.10 to Aug. 20 so I may not be able to answer questions you have during that time. Just do your best to follow the instructions. I will check e-mail as soon as I get back in town. If you're having trouble with the blog, just e-mail me your comment so you have evidence you completed it before the deadline. 


Marilyn.V.R said...

Review On Phineas Gage
I enjoyed the story on Gage's life changing injury. The book was written with a sense of humor and had a good proportion of suspenses. The author added details and examples as to where certain body parts were located. New vocabulary was well repersented with images explaining the unfamliar words; including their importance. What was surprising to me, was the how Gages injury actually allowed him to heal. His recovery was in a sense, magically. The disappointing situaton about the event, was that Gage lost his socail skills; allowing him not to return to work.
If I were Gage, I would feel lonesome because I would not be allowed to accomplish and continue what made me, me. Gage was a well-liked man but became bitter and people turned away. I was shocked when I understood the concept of where feelings come from. One part of the book stated that you dont hear people say, that love comes from their brain. I would reccomend this book because the author gives off a feeling that he is right next to you informing you. The story is as if he is telling this experience of this man, at a camp fire. The book is sensation since the visuals bring the book to life.
By, Marilyn V.

Cintia C. said...

The Phineas Gage book was a really good and a really interesting book. This book was really interesting because it shows the tragic accident of a man who worked on a rail road’s construction. This book was interesting because it explains the damages done after the accident that Phineas Gage wnet through. The damage was savvier because the tamping iron entered Phineas’ frontal lobe brain. It affected and changed Phineas forever because even do he looked better or recovered from the accident he wasn’t the same Phineas as he used to be. According to people that used to work with Phineas they stated that Phineas wasn’t the same because he was disrespectful to others and he would constantly change his mind in orders that he gave to the employees. In fact according to Wernicke, he discovered that there is a part on the left side of your brain above Broca’s area that helps people understand. This evidence from the text is very important because it shows that in that part of Phineas brain was damaged by the accident because he was been aggressive and he would change his mind more often. This meant that Phineas hurt his Wernicke area on his brain that dint function in the perspective of understanding the cause of his acts toward other people. The new important information that I learned in this book was that doctors weren’t as prepared as doctors are now at this time period. For example back in dose days doctors didn’t have a much sanitized place were they did their surgeries. The doctor’s didn’t have the simple list of the materials like gloves, mouth covers, and scrubs. This makes me realized that technology has taken us really far from where we were in the 1860’s. In my opinion Phineas was a very lucky men because he dint die of all the bacteria that there was. He dint die even do the tamping iron shot through Phineas skull n part of his frontal lobe. He was a really lucky guy because even do that tragic accident happened to him he still could of looked after himself and he worked until the day he died because of the constant seizures that he was having. This book was a really good book that I would recommend my friends and people because is interesting not in the fact that a men passed through a terrible accident and survived but to be informed in a way how the brain functions and how important it is for us and are human bodies. I would recommend this book to people too because it explains you in the simple lest ways hoe Phineas damaged his brain and how doctors thought that the brain was. It was fun and interesting the fact of learning what different doctors thought that the human brain looked like because a lot of them thought of a different way how the human brain worked. Phineas Gage has been remembered until now because he was the start to everything, for example the thinking of how the brain really functions and how or why the brain was so important in the human body.
Cintia C.

Anonymous said...

Reading this book was like a tour to the brain. I learned so much in just a few pages. The information found throughout the pages continued to enrich my learning and captivate my attention. As I learned about Phineas Gage´s story I found myself more interested in the components that make up the brain. Being able to have some background on the brain already helped me understand how the brain actually works. As I started reading the first few pages I was eager to know where the unlucky/lucky moment in Phineas live would take him.
It was very impressive to read how after the terrible accident that Phineas wen´t through he was able to stay conscious, a minute later after it, he got sat up and started talking as if nothing happened. As if there was no pain anywhere. The tragedy that happened to Phineas was a lucky yet unlucky one. He was very lucky because he survived; he was able to live eleven years, six months, and nineteen days more. He was able to experience and explore more from this world. He was able to make history, to enhance the health field. He made his death a memorable one. Many people around the world now read and learn about him. Although he was lucky to live he was unlucky because he was changed. After his accident he became a completely different person he wasn’t the same friendly and caring Gage as he was before. He was lucky to have an open injury if not he would have probably died or things would have worsened. Although it was a terrible accident Gage was able deal with it and he was very lucky in various ways.
During this time frame nobody knew about bacteria and as I learned about the operation procedures and techniques I was shocked. These doctors were dressed with no scrubs, using no gloves, and absolutely no sterile techniques! Having background and experience in the health field, this came to me in absolute shock. The way they perform their operations is highly dangerous!
While reading though the book I came across the two different groups of doctors. The Whole Brainers and the Localizers, because of their disagreements this led to finding the right answer. I figured that because of gage´s accident this led to finding new information and learning more and more about the brain.
Gage was an active person before and after his accident. I enjoyed reading how he would always find something to do. Something he enjoyed doing. He didn’t simply give up. He actually took his accident very calm and didn’t realize how serious it was. Maybe that’s why he didn´t live longer. He was able to recover from his first seizure but after the first many followed with shorter time intervals, until at last on May 21, 1860 they finally killed him.
Throughout the book I wondered about Gage´s affection towards his tamping iron. He carried it everywhere. Amusing how he was even buried with it. It must have been a privileged for all those who were able t meet him and learn about him even after his death. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to learn and who would enjoy reading a mysterious story about a guy who was completely changed within a few seconds. There is so much learn in these few pages. Whoever is fascinated with the brain or simply curious then this is exactly what you´re looking for. Phineas Gage a great story which you won´t regret learning about.

Diana B. said...

The book Phineas Gage by John Fleischman was a very interesting book. It was very detailed and I was learning many new things as I was reading. I learned that specific parts of the brain controlled your actions and feelings. Although I felt a few things were being repeated in different words such as how the tamping iron went through Phineas’ head and how it changed him. What I found most interesting was how he couldn’t be social anymore.

I didn’t know the brain can give you the ability to be social. I thought it was something you learn, like manners. Phineas wasn’t able to learn how to be social because the frontal lobe of his brain was damaged. The frontal lobe is where the brain gives you the ability to speak and understand, in other words communicating with others. I think Phineas was very lucky.

I think humans can live without being social with other humans even though we can die of loneliness. Although Phineas was not lonely; he had his horses, tamping iron, and his family. “The tamping iron has not killed him because the damage is limited to specific organs that are not critical to life.” (John Fleischman, 38) Therefor I think Phineas was lucky.

I would definitely recommend this book to a friend. It teaches you a lot about how the brain works and a little about the history of doctors and how they performed operations and such. It would also be great to know about Phineas and how he survived his accident. This is a book that keeps you wondering and asking yourself questions: “What if”, “How”, “Why”.

Diana B.

Anibal G said...

I enjoyed the story of Phineas Gage.The books' story and style is very unique as it flips back and fourth from Phineas life to doctors finding more about the brain. Phineas faced a tragic accident and somehow survived and this caused many doctors to further their knowledge of the human brain. Gage was lucky to survive but he became socially numb.This brought up the question, why did it happen and doctors were very motivated to find out. Two different theories are brought up between two different groups of doctors: the "Localizers" and the "Whole Brainers". The books brings many detailed illustrations and captions too further explain their findings. I found this to be very helpful and informational.
What i found most interesting was how lucky Phineas was to survive what he went threw.No man could had survived this and anyone would had died instantly but yet Phineas didn't. I would recommend this book to a friend because the author gives a lot of information and great illustrations which help you visualize the accident and new findings of the brain.

Stephanie Flores said...

The Phineas Gage book by John Fleischman was quite interesting. Anybody would have expected Phineas dying right after having a tamping iron going through his head and brain. I learned a lot of things I never knew about with this book, for example I learned the way the brain functions and all the different areas it has. It is interesting to know that even though each part of the brain is different, it works together as a whole to make us act human. This book was very interesting. I found it shocking to know that the part of the brain Phineas was struck in was his frontal lobe which was highly important because that area of the brain made him human. Because of this he wasn’t able to be sociable anymore. Being able to say someone lived after this accident is incredible.
I would definitely recommend this book to a friend. Reason being because not only do you read about Phineas terrible accident but you also learn how your brain works and all the different types of names each area has. What I found most interesting was that damage to one very small spot in the brain causes one very specific kind of damage just like Dr. Broca said. Not only that but I found interesting that the lower left frontal lobe controls the ability to speak and in another area on the left temporal lobe it controls the ability to understand speech. It’s amazing to learn how the brain works. I learned that our brain and spinal cord have about 100 billion neurons! The part of the brain that helps us be sociable with other humans and have manners is our frontal lobe, which was where Phineas got struck with his tamping iron.
Even though Phineas wasn’t his old self anymore he was still lucky. Anyone that goes through such a terrible accident as his and gets another opportunity to live has been given a precious gift. Phineas was able to continue living life as a human but of course with side effects. He managed to be hard working and attempt to carry on with his life. In the book Dr. Damasio explains that the tamping iron went through the brain in such an angle that it missed key areas that could of caused Phineas an instant death. Now this is more than lucky. There is no doubt Phineas was a living miracle.

Stephanie F.

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Anonymous said...

The book Phineas Gage is great because it easily explains the conflicts scientist analyzing the situation had when it came to unraveling the sudden character change in him. Dr. Harlow did a great job in healing Phineas Severe wound knowing that doctors could only do so little to prevent an infection.Perhaps the most interesting part was that Phineas accepted to go to Boston so that other doctors could give their opinions about it. He was measured, examined, and discussed. I personally wouldn't have gone to Boston. I'd rather try and not remember the accident and move on with life. I would recommend this book to someone that is curious of how the brain functions and how people thought back then of it worked. Its amusing knowing how they thought back then. For example, ancient Greeks believed the heart was the center of love and thought or that the brain would cool down the blood. It's really amazing how he survived this horrible,bloody, accident. Some may call it luck, but others may believe it still wasn't his time to leave this world.

Anonymous said...

Daniel Alvarez

This book was phenomenal! As soon as i picked up the book i couldn't stop reading it. There was so much to it that i couldn't belive it. This man name Phineas Gage is certainly one of the most memorable, famous and first few patient to have survived a very severe accident to the brain that had damage him completely. On September 13, 1848 while working as the foreman of a railway construction, he had been strucked by a tamping iron striaght through his head and still manage to live! If you ask me, this guy is pretty lucky to live through that horrible accident. The tamping iron that went though phineas head was 3ft, and 7 inches long weighted 13 1/2 pounds. The tamping iron went through his under left cheek bone and came out right at the top of his head, leaving him with a sever injury, but yet still alive.

What i found most intresting in this book was how his personality change from being a kind man, into a very vulgar and rude person. Who would of knew that getting strucked by tamping iron in the head could change the way you think and act! Phineas had the gift of life, literally. And to live up to 11 and a half years longer is just shocking.
He had the chance to travel around with the tamping iron that went through his skull and show the fascinated people how he manage to get right back on his feet and tell his story with such pride to be living. But along the way his life, he had a couple seizures, bad ones which was very intresting to know that because the accident was still causing him to have some difficulties throughout his pathways.
But overall, Phineas was lucky to live the tragic accident in Cavendish, Vermont, yet very unlucky to his way of change. Fired from his job, Talked rudely to people and suffer the consequences of many seizures because of the tamping iron that went through his head.
I would highly recommend this book to anybody! Thats how much of a good book it is. Especially to those who want to know a little further more towards the brain and why certain things happen when you are hit in one of the most important body parts. This book is Great.

Daniel Alvarez

Anonymous said...

The book Phineas Gage A gruesome but True Story About Brain Science is a very interesting book, it really caught my attention and it made my jaw drop. What I found most interesting was that Mr. Gage had survived the horrific accident and that the accident made him completely change and that Phineas exhibited himself and the tamping iron.
Some new and surprising things I learned from the book was that they didn't have a single clue that bacteria existed and that by working on one thing they discovered another thing. I think that Phineas Gage was lucky because an accident like his would have instantly killed someone and he survived the accident. He might of had a calculated life expansion of 11 years, 6 months and 19 more days to survive but that is way better than dying at the moment of the accident.
I would most definitely recommend it to a friend because it really makes you think and it immediately fascinates you. It really makes a person think whether Phineas Gage was lucky or unlucky.
Yeremi A.

Shelly(: said...

Phineas Gage by John Fleischman was very fascinating book. It completely catches your attention in the first sentence; personally I couldn’t put the book down. The details about the accident .were horrific and made me cringe as I was reading. It was a shock to me when John Fleischman wrote that Phineas was conscious after the accident and insisted that he tell was exactly happened. I would of thought that and accident like that would kill any one instantly, but no there was Phineas walking around and even joking around as if nothing happened. How can someone who has a hole in their head not feel any pain? I like how the book alternates from the story of Phineas Gage to the history of brain research.
As I read I learned a lot about the brain and it functions, although my prior knowledge helped me understand what the doctors were researching. The most interesting thing I learned from the book was how medicine advanced since the 1800’s. There were two groups that used Phineas case to prove their theories. They were the Whole brainers and the Localizers. Whole brainers believed that the brain was a “whole intelligence” and that thoughts and commands can originate anywhere in the brain. Localizers believed that the brain was separated into different organs that controlled different thoughts and actions. At the end both groups were slightly right but mostly wrong. The brain is divided into different parts but the organs were all wrong. The most interesting part is that on function can be found in many different areas of the brain. For example, the Broca’s Area is located on the lower left frontal lobe and controls the ability to speak and the Wernicke’s area is another area on the left temporal lobe that controls the ability to understand speech.
It’s hard to decide whether Phineas Gage was lucky or unlucky because he was a little bit of both. He was is lucky to survive his horrific accident, but wasn’t the same person and was unable to socialize. In this case I would choose that he was lucky because he didn’t realize his change of person and thought was he did was normal and he was happy playing with children and taking care of horses. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend.

Shelly Almeida

Denisse M. said...

I would recomend this book to people who enjoy learning. This book is not for everyone but I loved it. It wasn't what I expected, I thought it was just going to be a story, but it went beyond my expectations. I learned a lot. What I found the most interesting was how the way doctors changed their methods and how what they believed true evolved. The chain of how one thing lead to another, the chains of theories and how they ended up proving each other right or wrong. The few details on the brain functions and the brain maps. Also, how the brain is truly very complex and how there are so many things that cannot be seen in plain sight. I was amaized at how deep I when into this reading and how much is still unknown. This book really gets you thinking and puts you into the other scientist's place and how they saw things back then. This is the first of this kind of book i've red And for sure it will not be the last.

Anonymous said...

I would recoomend the Phineas Cage by John Fleischman because it explain in deep detail what happen to Phineas. It was a regular day at work when suddenly and the tamping iron blast through his face the instant he got distracted. He started bleeding non-stop but miracly he was still alive, after the accident he was still concious, when the doctors arrived he refused people to talk for him but doctors insited because they thought he was delusional. Months later he fully recovered he decided to go back to work at his old job but the owners and co-workers didn't wanted him back; not only because it would be dangerous to have him but because he changed drastically. His behavior was different, he was vulgar and filthy, had bad manners with women. He was a different Phineas.
The book goes more deep in details about all he went through up to his death,

This book is beyond amazing because how did a man with a like meter tamping iron staved right into his face survive. Back in the 18th centuary not even anethisia was invented nor medication that we have in this days. This book explain the obstacles he encounter and what others did to help him. How his case became famous world wide, and even after his death up to this date people still remember him and his life. How because of him new organs on the brain were found.
In this book you can learn how the human brain works and its duty.
In my opinion I would recommend this book to anyone.

Noa Z.

Anonymous said...

Phineas Gage is a very informative and interesting book. Phineas suffers a tragic accident that happened while he was working at a track construction. Him and his coworkers followed a certain routine every day and interacted with really dangerous chemicals. The most little distraction turned out to be the biggest change on Phineas life. Black powder and fuse were exposed when unconsciously Phineas' tamping iron slipped down the hole and stroked the granite. The tamping iron went up Phineas' face, perforating his right eyeball and the left side of his brain. Phineas managed to survive, with complications such as infections and brain damage, but he was very lucky to have lived after such an impact. It is incredible how Phineas hanged on to the tamping iron that changed his life forever, to me this was an example of how us human beings are always hanging on to the things that hurt us the most... not only mentally but also physically. Phineas was a very lucky man to not only have survived through this incredible miracle but also to being able to move on and not give up, Being independent and hardworking. The brain is such an indescribable thing and I am certain that no matter how many years pass by, there will always be something new to discover about it. Not everyone likes reading, but i would recommend this to anyone who wants to have a little extra knowledge and be more cult, plus the fact that its really interesting! books like this can only make a person better.
Andrea M

Mariana G. said...

The story about Phineas Gage was very shocking, surprising and sad at the same time. He was both lucky and unlucky because even though he lived he Had some pretty bad brain damage ( seizure).It was interesting that he lived but his characteristic changed from happy hard working guy to bad mouth and can't stick to one desicion making kind of guy. I think yes I would recommend this book to a friend because they can learn that even if they survive a death accident it probably can cause damage to your brain that will eventually kill in another worse way probably.

Mariana G.
Mariana G.

Anonymous said...

Phineas Gage suffered an accident in 1848 in Vermont. A tamping iron shot as a bullet and it went through his face and skull. Although he survived for 11 years after the horrible accident, he had some complications that killed him from hypothermia. I learned a lot from this book and I would surely recommend it to anyone. It is amazing to read books like Phineas Cage because they show you how people struggle and I learned how to value our health. the most interesting part of the book was that he still survived and for 11 years. His change of personality was shocking because i never thought an accident could affect personality in such way.
Judith D. 4

Agustin V. said...

The story of Phineas Gage was by far the most interesting, gruesome, and remarkable story I have ever read. The story follows a man who suffered a life-threatening accident while working in a rail road construction. Although Phineas survived the accident, he was scared for life, not just physically but mentally as well. Once Phineas went through brain surgery and was lucky to be alive, his life took a turn for the worst. Phineas Gage was no longer himself anymore. His character/personality changed completely. He had no social wisdom and no self control. Phineas began expressing himself in an uncivilized manner that he didn't use to do before such as being rude, mean, and speak vulgar language. No one remembered Phineas being this way before his brain surgery. This by the way was my personal most facinating part of the book. The author does a phenomenal job of getting the reader engaged and interested in the story. I especially enjoy how the author practically forces the reader to think profoundly about the question; Was Phineas Gage's overall accident lucky or unlucky? I found myself continuously going back and forth with both answers which kept me engaged and wanting to read more. I can honestly say that although it was unfortunate that Phineas's character and personality completely changed due to the technicalities of his surgery, he truly was a living miracle blessed to have been given life. This story is amazing and fascinating and I would recommend it to anyone interested or not interested in psychology because I believe this story can spark the interest in anyone.

-Agustin V.

Adriana F. said...

Phineas Gage by John Fleishman was an interesting book. It follows the case of a man named Phineas Gage and his life after a terrible work related accident. Gage was working as a construction foreman when he had a bad accident. An explosive wasn't set right and when he was trying to take a break, the explosives went off. That sent a 3 foot metal rod through his left frontal lobe. An accident like this in Gages time in the mid 1800's is impossible to live through. Gage lived through the impact of the iron hitting his head, the rod passing through his brain, the impact of the explosion, the brain swelling and the infection. If I was Phineas I would have bought a lottery ticket, but unfortunatley the Lottery in Vermont didn't start until 1976. In the book Fleishman asks us to question whether or not Phineas could be consider lucky or unlucky, I believe he was both. Gage was lucky in surviving the accident in the moment it happened. But he was ulucky in that it ended up killing him in the span of 13 years. In the course of his life after his accident he changed so much that his friends and co-workers no longer trusted him. His character changed in a negative way without him meaning to have changed.
Personally I like the book. It was written so that people who don't have much knowledge of how the brain works can still understand. I like the visual it gave and the pictures were easy to see where damage of his brain was. It gave good comparison of the times of Phineas and helped you understand why exactly he was so remarkable to doctors. It also helped you understand why he was an important part in psychology, especially when it explained theories like whole brainers and localizers. I would definetly recommend this book to a friend who was consideriing taking a psychology class or just for personal reading.

Anonymous said...

when i first read the book i didn't have a very clear understanding of it.Reading it a couple more times and completing the study guide helps with the understanding of the book.
The story is about Phineas Gage a man who suffered an incredible incident during the 1800's that not only affected his world but the entire world around him.Phineas Gage is the reason why many scientist changed their way of thinking-when it came as to how the brain worked.Many scientist were also able to improve with their work thanks to phineas Gage.I learned a lot about the way that my brain and mind works.That was what i liked most about this book.
throughout the book you dont only learn about how phineas changed the idea of how the brain worked, you also learn other discoveries that scientist made and how medical science worked during the 1800's. Take ether fumes for example,before ether,patients had to endure the pain during an operation.I am extremely glad i wasn't a patient before the 1800's.
A lot of important tools and knowledge we have now and did not exist in the past,like the understanding of germs or how doctors prepared themselves for medical procedures.
This book is educating,informative and if anything interesting.I would definitively recommend this book to a friend,especially if they were into gruesome stories,interested to know how the brain works and as to how we came to that understanding.Anyone who takes the time to read this book will realize it was worth the effort.

-Paola Q.