Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Summer Assignment Part 2: Review of Phineas Gage Book Due Aug 24th.

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.  Please read all the instructions below before writing your Book Review.  (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 (claims) about the book and back up those opinions with examples from the book (evidence). 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: As always you can e-mail me with questions. If you're having trouble with the blog, just e-mail me your comment so you have evidence you completed it before the deadline. 

Here are a couple of links about writing a good book review:
http://www.booktrust.org.uk/books/teenagers/writing-tips/tips-for-writing-book-reviews/ 
http://www.ttms.org/say_about_a_book/whats_a_book_review.htm 
Here is a review of the book, The Hunger Games you can use as an example of a book review. Of course it's about a fictional novel, not a non-fiction book like Phineas Gage. 
http://childrensbooks.about.com/od/productreviews/fr/The-Hunger-Games-review.htm

And just for fun.... 

19 comments:

Genesis M said...

In the book , there is a guy named Phineas Gage he worked in construction and was the supervisor and was in charge of a bunch of working men that also worked with Phineas. One day while working , something had distracted Phineas during his working site. While being distracted the fat part of the tamping iron that he uses for work slips down the hole and ends up striking the granite. As that happens an explosion happens and it fires the tamping iron that Phineas is working with straight upward through his cheek, behind his left eye , through the front of his brain and out the middle of his forehead. After that happens he gets up and starts acting normal. He was rushed where doctors couldnt believe that he was still alive,talkactive. The book also talks about how the brain works and the affects that left Phineas as they took the tamping iron out of his head. I thought that the book was was descriptive as in the way the John Fleischman wrote on how it happened the out come of what the accident affected Phineas. I found the most interesting part of the book would finding out that after the accident Phineas was still alive and was talkactive still even knowing he had a tamping iron in his head knowing he couldve been dead.I also found interesting would be the ways the brian works and how it can affect someone in ways that i never knew about. I would recommend this book to someone or a friend because im sure that they would love to learn how the way the brain works and much more the way this book could bring.

Anonymous said...

So, this Phineas Gage Book might look like one of those, "Oh no, it's one of those books that don't help much because all it shows is a skull with something stuck in it and might not explain stuff about what happens to the brain" types, but no. This book is much better than those others since well, it ACTUALLY explains what happens to a human being after getting their brain damaged from an outside source. What is actually interesting was the fact that the story is based on a man's life, Phineas Gage of course, after his frontal lobe part of his brain was damaged causing him to "transform" into a different man. So basically, this kind of proves that if an important part of a person changes, frontal lobe damage for example, the outcome might end up changing the person from, for example, nice to crude or active to lazy or even reverse but since Phineas Gage was the example for this, then nice to crude is a great example for this case. Some might say Phineas was unlucky, but I say he is lucky since he did live on for a few more years after his accident, which would have killed someone if it happened to others yet he survived which is really astounding! I would definitely recommend this book to friends since well, who doesn't want to learn about our brains even more? This event that happened to Phineas was just on one part of the brain, so this makes people wonder what would happen if some other part of the brain gets damaged. Would the results be the same or would it be different? Basically what I'm saying is. This book is a great read if you're willing to learn more about the human brain and its impacts to the person entirely. Even the style of the book was amazing since well, it explains everything really easily. So it isn't that hard to read and it even has pictures! Want to see where Phineas got hit? There's a picture! Want to see the pole that struck him? There's a picture! So that basically makes this book an 11/10 for ratings since mostly anyone can read this. So this book was amazing to read and I would really like to read it again, I did eventually.





By Angel Rivas (This is my name! Not part of the review, well I guess it is?)

Valeria G. said...

Imagine working on the railroads during the 1840s, it certainly wasn't the best job and it wasn't the safest one either. It would lead to injuries and other dangerous work like the work Phineas Gage encountered when working on the railroad, not only was it a injury it was a life changing event. This event was a tamping iron used to set explosives that went through this head which then passed behind his left eye then went through the front part of the brain and exit by the middle of his forehead. In this book it describes Phineas Gage before and after his injury in high detail that even after the whole injury he survived, but had complications such as seizures. This book to me was full of interesting information that talked about how in the 1840s medicine was not advanced as it is today while also describing how doctors were trying to find more information about the brain and how it worked, since at that time there was no MRIs or any form of equipment like we have today. While it also might not look as an interesting book it is, since even today doctors are learning more and more about the brain. That's why I think that all the doctors during the 1840s were surprised that Phineas was even alive since the tamping iron went straight through a part of the brain and the brain is the “control center” of the whole body. The style of this book itself is well written yet the ending of the book is the decision of the reader debating if Phineas was “lucky or unlucky” in my opinion he was lucky to survive since not many people would even survive that type of life changing event. Even though there were complications, he was still able to live life and that to me is pretty great. Overall this book is truly amazing it amazed me in so many ways and I would certainly recommend this to a friend.

Ana Carrera said...

Ana Carrera

John Fleischman had a very unique style of writing this story, its like as if we were going through it all in the present moment. In this book it explains how extraordinary the brain is. In this case there's a serious incident were the brain/person survives a really bad trauma. This book makes you wonder so many things, it explains the unbelievable, at least it does from my perspective.
Here we have Phineas Gage, a 26 year old man, unmarried and working hard like any other day, but his life changes drastically with a simple mistake at work. If someone was to tell you that in 1848 a tamping iron or any other object went through someones head. You will of course image that the person will die or at least be brain dead. Well in this scenario Mr. Gage got up and was talking and walking with that iron in his head. It's amazing how the iron went through his brain and he was he was still conscious. In the book it explains the way the point of the rod entered his left cheekbone, pass behind his left eye and through the front of his brain. Unexpectedly Phineas is alive and taken into town. Shocking!
In the 1840's the science of medicine wasn't as advanced as it is now. Infections were deadly, and that's what had part of my attention. Honestly this book is really cool and amazing. Sure the book looked simple and uninteresting, however it's totally the opposite. It explains everything from when the bacterial infection should've killed Phineas, up to the fact that there was no women in the hospitals. Everything is covered.
At the end of the reading this spectacular story I realized that Phineas was pretty lucky from my point of view. Reason being that not everyone gets struck by a sharp object in the brain and lives. Sure Phineas wasnt 100% the same person, but he lived and was able to take care of himself. Phineas was aware of the accident that had happened, and he carried that tamping iron everywhere he went. It's amazing to get stabbed in the brain and not die, or not be a vegetable, or at least have the ability to remember. The only thing that changed was his personality. Yeah, sure he was a little anti social, but he was able to work and do things on his own. Phineas was an unbelievable case, that not one doctor nor medical center could figure out how was it possible that he was alive. Maybe today's doctors could be able to keep people alive from situations like this, but in the 1840's just one or two doctors took a look at it and couldn't do much. But Phineas lived anyway. If you asked me, he was pretty much lucky.

Sergio Gonzalez said...

Phineas Gage by John Fleischman is a remarkable story. This is a story of a huge breakthrough in brain science. Gage was in the process of blasting a rail road when he was struck with his tapering iron right through his skull. Gage survived this incident and was awake to tell the story right after it happened, very consciously and with detail. This book described his life 11 years after this incident till he dies even a little about his life before the incident. The story of this book is very scientific and medical. They explained each and every breakthrough they have made in the journey of discovering Gage brain. The Author explained theories of what doctors and scientist believed at the time of the incident and what they believed after they experimented with explanations of why they believed it and why they were wrong. I thought the story was great it was interesting. what i found most interesting was how he had a hole blasted through his head and was alive and awake right after it happened, able to walk and talk was what interested me the most. I would probably recommend this book to a friend that is interested in brain science or a medical field if not i would just tel the to look up the Phineas Gage incident.

By: Sergio Gonzalez

Kennedy C. said...

Phineas Gage, a construction worker, was occupied with constructing a railroad right-of-way. In order to create this pathway, Gage and his co-workers needed to set the charges that would explode a hole through the granite; As this happened, Phineas’s tamping iron hits the black powder and fuse. An explosion occurred and sent the tamping iron upward and back down entering Phineas’s left cheek. The iron passed his left eye,and straight through the middle of his forehead. Through all of this, Phineas remained alive and able to walk and talk like nothing had happened. Doctors were puzzled because he should have died from the either the blow, blood loss or swelling in the brain. Although his condition following the accident was believed to be a miracle, it was unforeseen , by his co-workers and family, that Gage would experience changes with his attitude and personality.
I believe that Phineas Gage’s accident was both a fortunate and an unfortunate event; It was fortunate for the doctors and researchers who were able to use Gage to learn more about the brain and understandings its functions. However, it was unfortunate for Phineas as he had to go through seemingly torturous treatments of losing blood, experiencing seizures, and losing a sense of “self” as his attitude worsened. The doctors were allowed the opportunity to further understand the brain and determine how Gage could function when parts of his brain were damaged but Phineas personally had to endure the ups and downs of his medical phenomenon. It was upsetting to read how cold medicalization becomes, the doctors were more concerned with the brain as a specimen than caring for the actual human that was present.
This book was very detailed and explained thoroughly about Phineas Gage's accident with several different doctors discoveries.I do understand this book is suppose to show/explain the discoveries (about the brain itself and Phineas)and it was interesting but this was definitely a book I couldn't read in one sitting. It felt tiresome to constantly read date after date.There wasn't anything really interesting more of a “ good to know” or “I wouldn't have thought” moment here and there throughout the book. What kept me reading was the parts that were more storytelling-like than textbook facts. I would recommend this to a friend that is interested in Psychology and anything factual but not to a friend who just wants to know straight,short facts about whether or not Gage lived and for how long.

Kennedy C.

Dominique DeJesus said...

In 1848, a man named Phineas Gage had a terrible working accident. In any other case Phineas should have died, but in this one he was very lucky. Phineas fully recovered a terrible injury to his frontal cortex and carried on life 11 years after. The style of this reading was very unusual, but I found very interesting. It started as a story and turned into text book style helping the reader to better understand the main story.
Other than the style I also found the story interesting. I find it interesting because Phineas survived and no MAJOR damage was done. I find Phineas very lucky; yes he did lose social skills, but learned to live with it. He got to see the world and carry on to do some unknown things on his time away. Phineas should be lucky to only have lost social skills rather than his life.
I would recommend this book to a friend. I’d do so because the book tells a tale, but also explains the science of it all. The book also shows how science and knowledge of science,the brain and bacteria have evolved over time. The story gets you wondering and the knowledge gets you thinking as well as understanding. It’s a good book that wants you to turn the page.

Dominique D.

Dennisse Quiridumbay said...

Denisse Quiridumbay said….
John Fleischman conveys the story of a man who survived a tamping iron that entered his left cheekbone and exited his forehead. Far from being a spiritual-enlightment book, Fleischman focuses on the science and effects on the brain. He explores different theories that many doctors had in the 1800’s. His approach allows non-medical readers understand the impact of such injury in a simple way. Especially his explanation in neurology. Gage’s case can help someone with no knowledge of a human brain understand how it functions. For example he explained that the, “brain cortex is like a city; every part has an address.” This illustration can help the reader not only understand but visualize how the brain cortex works. The way Fleischman wrote this book is interesting because he didn’t just write a book full of information nobody would be able to understand. He includes a medical case such as, Phineas Gage and also connected information about how the brain works makes it easier for readers to fully comprehend what Fleischman is explaining. What I found most interesting about the book was how this man survived a horrific accident, he still managed to survive. So many doctors try to find how he survived and so many of them concluded with incorrect theories. I would recommend this book to someone who is going into the medical field or is interested in psychology.

Lenny W. said...

In this book there is a 26 year old man named Phineas Gage. Phineas is a foreman of a construction gang that was currently working on a railroad track. Phineas is described as "the most efficient and capable foreman", but that soon changes after an accident occurs on the job. Phineas is doing his normal job on the track with his tampering iron, but something happens where this time the tampering iron sticks back and enters under his left cheek-bone, passes behind his left eye, through the front of his brain, and out the middle of his forehead. After all this Phineas Gage remains alive. The accident caused damage to Phineas' frontal lobe which altered his social behavior throughout the the decade he remained alive after the accident. Gage turned into "a man who couldn't be trusted...a pigheaded and stubborn one moment and wishy-washy and vague the next."
One of the key arguments throughout the book was is Phineas considered lucky or unlucky and the author left you to decide, which is one of the reasons I liked the book. I think Phineas was lucky because remains alive after the accident for 11 years. Even though it changed his social behavior he was still able to be social enough to live for 11 years in places where he knew no one or even the language. I also liked how the book not only told a story, but taught you and gave you information as a psychology book would. Chapter 2 was one of the main chapters that gave you information on the parts/functions of the brain and explained what parts of Phineas' brain was damaged even after "fully recovering". The chapter also gave you evidence to somewhat end a debate on if the brain acts as whole(if you damaged one part of your brain it will mess up the whole thing) or if certain parts do certain things(so if you damage a part you can still remain alive doing other functions).
Overall this book is a really good book! It tells a story, teaches a lesson on the brain, and give you a question where you can decide the answer after reading the book. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend!


Lenny Weston

Anonymous said...

Phineas Gage was indeed a man with a hole in his head. He was a railroad construction foreman in 1848 Vermont; his job was to blast a railroad right-of-way through granite. Phineas’s men worked with picks, shovels, and rock drills while he worked with a thirteen pound tamping iron. The taming iron was used to set explosives. Just when setting a fuse couldn’t get any more dangerous, something went wrong. The tamping iron struck Phineas’s face, entering under his left cheek bone, passing behind his left eye, into the left hemisphere of his brain grazing the right hemisphere, and exiting through the middle of his forehead. Amazingly, Phineas survived this horrific accident, living another eleven years, six months, and nineteen days. John Fleischman did an amazing job with this book. You could imagine everything as if you were watching a movie. I knew a little bit about how the brain works, and now I know a lot more. I was fascinated by how many scientific facts were discovered after Phineas’s case. I didn’t think Phineas would have ever recovered enough to work, or even travel. I was disappointed that Phineas’s life in Chile was unknown because it would have made the book even better, and maybe could have answered many question then and even now. I think Phineas was unlucky. Even though he survived such a gruesome accident, in the end he suffered anyways. Having epileptic seizures, lead to hypothermia which killed him. He had to adjust to a new him. He was no longer in the same state of mind due to the tamping iron blasting through his brain. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend because it’s very interesting, and full of facts. It will leave anyone turning the pages.

Kyleah L

Sheila Batista said...

Picture yourself in the shoes of Phineas Gage. Actually think what it would have been like to be building a railroad, especially in the 1840s, all muscle work. Your day goes on like every other day and the next BOOM! You or someone’s life is possibly at risk, sort of like Gage. How could Gage have survived such a gruesome accident? While working on the job with touchy explosives, Phineas encounters his tamping iron coming from under his left cheek bone, pass behind his left eye, through the front of his brain, and out from the middle of his forehead. Ouch! It's crazy to think after this incident he acts as though nothing is wrong, acts as a foreman. As the book unravels I learn more and more about the brain and how it functions as doctors baffle over how Gage survived an accident that could've killed him. It's pretty cool how every human brain is folded in exactly the same way, yet we're all “different”. Also, how doctors had the slightest idea how brains functioned back then. As in the book, scientists in America or Europe had the slightest thought that bacteria can cause infections. And who would've guessed it that later in the book, Phineas would have little time to live after all his sudden seizures which caused him to die from hypothermia? One interesting fact, a seizure creates the same effect as shivering in icy, cold water. As I continue to read hoping there's more to the story, it finishes. I have to say, John Fleischman had a unique way to tell the story about Phineas Gage. It was told as though you were to know what was going to happen next, but at the same time you're clueless. The book was very detailed and well-rounded with crazy information. Phineas was pretty lucky as he was able to live twelve years after his accident. A blow to the head can cause death. He was able to travel to places and meet new people and even exhibit himself as a part of a museum in New York. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend. Phineas may have been the same person slightly physical wise, but mentally his life was changed forever.

Melody M said...

The book Phineas Gage, by John Fleischman, describes how one man influenced neurologist around the world. On September 13,1848 Phineas Gage was working as a construction foreman when a tamping iron strikes the left side of his face passing the back of his left eye, and arriving at the top of his head. People at the time were shocked that Gage was alive, especially doctors, who were even more surprised at how responsive Gage was during the incident. The Author stated, That Dr. Williams finds Phineas thirty minutes after the accident at his hotel porch “talking away”. Plenty of doctors were curious on how a human could survive such a severe brain injury. Gage influenced Doctors, around 1848, to conduct research on what parts of the brain are needed or not needed to be a live.
Overall, Phineas Gage was a lucky man. He had survived a huge accident that could have killed him. In the 1840’s doctors weren't as experienced as doctors are today, regarding the brain, but Gage was still lucky enough to survive and recover from the incident. He lived eleven years after the accident. Phineas may have lost some important human traits, such as, kindness and respect, but he still lived his life to the fullest. Phineas was said to have once joined a freak show and traveled to Chile to drive a concord stagecoach around .He adapted to his new personality and encountered new experiences along the way.
The best part of the book was when the author explained the different parts of the brain, so we could better understand what was happening inside Phineas head. The most interesting part of the book was seeing how certain injury can change a person's social skills. Before Phineas accident his co-workers described him as a very dependable man, but after the accident his co-worker said he was now unreliable. I would recommend the book to a friend because it explains brain science in a more fascinating way.
Melody M.

Anonymous said...

Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science by Joh Fleischman was a book primarily about the life of a young man name Phineas Gage after an accident damaging his brain. The accident occurred in 1848 Cavendish, Vermont while Phineas works on a railroad. The book tends to elaborate on the medicine used at the time of the accident and prior, such as the lack of understanding where infections come from and the form of bacteria. One of the most interesting parts of the book to me was the way John Fleischman explains the cortexes of the brain and describe the functions of each part. Although the extra information at moments overshadow information about Phineas himself. But ultimately the book was a good read in general even if you’re not into brain health or psychology. I overall give the book a four star.

Tatyana Webster

Anonymous said...

John Fleischman does an excellent job of immersing the reader in the life of Phineas Gage, in his book "Phineas Gage A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science". The book starts with a very vivid description of the life of a railroad foreman in the late 1840's. Fleischman continues along to explain the incident that changed the path of brain science forever. This author was able to keep me interested in this book by not only telling us the story of Phineas Gage, but also explaining the events that lead up to the different discoveries made during this time period. The author was able to explain what the doctors of the 1840's and 50's knew about the brain and why they made the decisions they did in Phineas' case. Every question I thought of while reading this book was answered. I personally found this book very interesting, but I would only recommend it to someone who has similar interest in psychology. It may bore someone who doesn't want to learn about the brain, or the history of brain science.

Jose Montalvo

Kimberly Sanchez said...

The author, John Fleischman, wrote a true story of the life of Phineas Gage, a man that worked as a construction foreman and had a terrible brain accident. It was 1848 and Mr. Gage was just working on a railroad when an accident occurred that led to Mr. Gage having a long pipe go through his head. Fortunately, Mr. Gage didn't die from the accident which led to scientists do a lot of experiments of why he did not only get into critical condition but even worse passed away. This book mainly focuses on describing different parts of the brain, how it works, and what happened in his brain when the accident happened. The author also mainly focused on how experienced the doctors were at that time and their theories on injuries. I found it interesting when the author explained different parts of the brain and their roles. I would recommend this story to a person that has the interest in learning things about the human body. Personally, I did enjoy reading this book, because I enjoy learning new things and having that "wow, I didn't know that! that's really great that I found out!" reaction.

Jennifer B said...

Looking at the cover of this book, one would never assume this story led doctors, scientists, and physicians to discover how to brain really works. It all starts with Phineas Gage, foreman of a track construction gang, who went through a terrible accident in the process of “blasting” a railroad near the small town of Cavendish, Vermont. Phineas was a 26 year old unmarried man who was minutes away from an accident that was going to change his life drastically. One evening on September 13, 1848 Gage was with his assistant working with touchy explosions when they didn’t realize they forgot to pour sand down the hole that acts like a plug. This leaves the black powder and fuse exposed. Phineas had a tampering iron that he used to set explosives. This tampering iron was 3ft and 7 inches long and weighing 13.5 lbs. The end is this tampering iron slips into the hole and acts like a bullet. Little did anyone know, this tampering iron was going to go through Phineas head.
Any person or doctor would think this is an instant death, but surprisingly after a few minutes Phineas is already up and speaking.
The book described exactly how the tampering iron went through his head. It is said that entered under his left cheekbone, passed behind his left eye, through the front of his brain, and out the middle of his forehead. How could he be alive after what happened? Many people asked themselves this very question. Dr. Harlow takes over the case and shares this accident with other doctors. Just like everyone else, many doctors didn’t believe this was possible. In 1848, neither doctors nor scientists had the slightest idea of how the brain works. Technology was not advanced during those times. Medical science knew very little that bacteria can cause infections. Can you believe that!
I never really knew how the brain works. I couldn’t believe there was so much behind it. I found it most interesting that without your cerebellum, you couldn’t walk upright, touch your finger to your nose, or turn the page of a book. I also found it interesting that without your brain stem, you couldn’t be able to breathe and without your cerebral cortex, one wouldn’t be human. First, I never knew these parts controlled some of the most important parts of my body. I find it amazing how these parts work because without them one wouldn’t be alive. From this book I learned that by layering and connecting billions of neurons you create a brain. How weird and surprising is that?

In my opinion, Phineas Gage was lucky. He survived an accident that everyone thought was an instant death. Although it was a terrible accident, his story contributed to discovering how the brain really works. Two of the discoveries included “Broca’s area” and “Wernicke’s area.” This book was written in a way that explains the story as well as the information about how this accident contributed to astonishing findings.

I would recommend this book to family, friends, and even strangers. I believe they will be as amazed as I was after reading this book. This book gives so much information of brain theories as well as brain science. It gives knowledge of how medical science was back then and how it improved to this day.

Lorena L said...

Imagine this: you are following your usual routine at work, but then something happens and you get distracted. All of the sudden, an accident occurs that changes your life forever. That is essentially what happened to Phineas Gage. John Fleischman retells the “gruesome but true story” of Phineas Gage in a way that is well explained and enjoyable. He introduces the reader to basic brain science using terms that are more common. For example, Fleischman describes a neuron as a “wire with plugs at each end,” and then dives into the more complex description of a neuron. It’s as if he introduces a picture as simple as an apple and then points out the details, such as the stem, the seeds, and all things that make it an apple. What was more interesting than the way the author told the story was the story itself: the way Phineas’ behavior changed after his accident. Simply put: by losing a part of his brain Phineas lost his entire self. His entire persona changed and he became the exact opposite of the person he was before. This leads me to believe that he was lucky and unlucky. He was lucky in the sense that he wasn’t killed immediately following the accident, but he was unlucky in the sense that he didn’t get to live as the same person. The story of Phineas Gage as told by John Fleischman is an intriguing one that ignites a burning desire to understand the many complexities and mysteries of the brain.

Tyra Luckett said...

The book “Phineas Gage” was a very interesting read. What I found most interesting is the time Phineas was able to live with a hole in his head. The fact that we can live without a piece of our brain is astonishing; I once read that people only use 20 percent of their brains. Going back to this being astonishing, it made me think, if people only use that 20 percent of their brains that can be the reason Phineas was able to live with a piece gone. Phineas Gage was a foreman working on a railroad in Vermont. While working, Phineas experienced a severe brain injury when his tamping rod was blasted under his left cheek bone and through his frontal lobe.
The Author made it very clear that at the time of the accident, doctors didn’t know that bacteria can make a human ill from infection. The book also had the reader think by looking at Phineas before the accident and Phineas after the accident. The book was scientifically written based on the level of knowledge that was available back then and the current knowledge we have come to know and understand about bacteria. At the time of the accident doctors only knew of the existence of bacteria, but had no idea how harmful they can be. Two days after the accident Phineas became sick due to the open injury being exposed to dust particles
After the accident, Phineas became a different man; a man people did not want to be around. Before the accident Phineas’s contractors described him as the most efficient and capable employee at the Forman position, but after the accident the author goes on to say “The new Phineas is unreliable and at times downright nasty.” Due to the area in which the iron bar traveled Phineas lost his benevolence. Based off research benevolence is located in the frontal lobe, where the hole resided; Phineas lost his ability to be kind. When it came to questioning of Phineas’s being lucky or unlucky after the accident, I would have to say he was lucky. I say he is lucky because even though he was sick some of the time after the accident he was still able to live 11 years with an open brain injury; traveling and enjoying life.
Although this story was new to me it reminded me of former NFL football players that filed a lawsuit on the National Football league because they say the National League failed to protect them from long-term health consequences of a concussion. Players with concussions suffer with confusion, vomiting, seizures, disturbed sleep, moodiness and amnesia. Phineas did not have all these symptoms but his mood was changed and his cause of death was seizures. Phineas didn’t start having epileptic seizures until 11 years after the accident; at the age of thirty seven. After several months of seizures he finally passed away. This book was very detailed when it came to the information on the brain, so this would be a book I would recommend to a person who enjoys neurology. This book may look like an easy read but because of the science one would have to read it multiple times. I would also recommend this to someone who wanted to hear and amazing story of the man who lived to tell about the hole in his head.

Anonymous said...

Phineas Gage was a twenty-six year old foreman of a track construction gang. Phineas’ job was to set off black gun powder to break down big rocks. For this job, he uses a tapering rod it is made of iron and spear-like. On September 13, 1848, he has an accident at work and the rod is shot into his head entering under his left cheekbone and passed behind his left eye through the front of his brain and out the middle of his forehead.
Even after this accident, Phineas was fully aware of what happened he was conscious, walking and talking telling his neighbor of what had happened. Phineas Gage’s case is important to the history of neuroscience, one because he didn’t die of a three foot rod going through his frontal lobe, brain swelling or an infection. Two, his accident was an important case in showing that brain trauma can affect personality and that the frontal lobe affects personality and decision making. After the accident, Phineas was no longer trust worthy or reliable he was mean, rude and indecisive.
Was Phineas lucky or unlucky? In my opinion he was both. He was studied and remembered long after he died and unlucky because he couldn’t really get back to his old life because he wasn’t his old self. I thought the book was well written because the information was easy to understand. The book was clearly able to explain to me Phineas’ injury and how exactly it made the changes everyone saw in him. I would recommend this book to anyone because you don’t really have to have much previous knowledge the brain and lobes. It’s an easy read and an interesting case.

Alejandra Fraga