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Health and Science has moved! You can find new stories here. It was the last normal moment of his life. Other victims in the annals of medicine are almost always referred to by initials or pseudonyms. His is the most famous name in neuroscience.
How ironic, then, that we know so little else about the man—and that much of what we think we know, especially about his life unraveling after his accident, is probably bunk. Among other tasks, a foreman sprinkled gunpowder into blasting holes, and then tamped the powder down, gently, with an iron rod.
This completed, an assistant poured in sand or clay, which got tamped down hard to confine the bang to a tiny space. Gage had specially commissioned his tamping iron from a blacksmith.
Accounts differ about what happened after Gage turned his head. One says Gage tried to tamp the gunpowder down with his head still turned, and scraped his iron against the side of the hole, creating a spark.
Regardless, a spark shot out somewhere in the dark cavity, igniting the gunpowder, and the tamping iron rocketed upward. It then plowed through the top of his skull, exiting near the midline, just behind where his hairline started.
After parabola-ing upward—one report claimed it whistled as it flew—the rod landed 25 yards away and stuck upright in the dirt, mumblety-peg-style. Witnesses described it as streaked with red and greasy to the touch, from fatty brain tissue.
An map of Cavendish, Vermont, indicates two possible accident sites: Amazingly, he claimed he never lost consciousness.
He merely twitched a few times on the ground, and was talking and walking again within minutes. He felt steady enough to climb into an oxcart, and, after someone grabbed the reins and giddy-upped, he sat upright for the entire mile-long trip into Cavendish. At the hotel where he was lodging, he settled into a chair on the porch and chatted with passersby.
The messy business of Gage continues to this day, years later. Most of us first encountered Gage in a neuroscience or psychology course, and the lesson of his story was both straightforward and stark: This story has had a huge influence on the scientific and popular understanding of the brain.
In truth each generation seems to remake Gage in its own image, and we know very few hard facts about his post-accident life and behavior.
The day after his accident, a local newspaper misstated the diameter of the rod. A small error, but an omen of much worse to come. Psychologist and historian Malcolm Macmillan, currently at the University of Melbourne, has been chronicling mistakes about Gage for 40 years.
He has had a peripatetic career: Among other topics, he has studied disabled children, Scientology, hypnosis, and fascism. In the s, he got interested in Gage and decided to track down original material about the case. He turned up alarmingly little, and realized just how rickety the evidence was for most of the science about Gage.
Because Gage could still walk, talk, see, and hear, Bigelow concluded that his brain must be fine. Above all, Macmillan stresses the mismatch between what we actually know about Gage and the popular understanding of him: As for what happened next, readers with queasy stomachs should probably skip to the next paragraph.
He then extracted skull fragments from the wound by sticking his fingers in from both ends, Chinese-finger-trap-style.
Throughout this all, Gage was retching every 20 minutes, because blood and greasy bits of brain reportedly kept slipping down the back of his throat and gagging him. Incredibly, Gage never got ruffled, remaining conscious and rational throughout.
American physician John M. Photo courtesy Creative Commons The bleeding stopped around 11 p. The next morning his head was heavily bandaged and his left eyeball was still protruding a good half-inch, but Harlow allowed him visitors, and Gage recognized his mother and uncle, a good sign.
Within a few days, however, his health deteriorated. His face puffed up, his brain swelled, and he started raving, at one point demanding that someone find his pants so he could go outside.
His brain developed a fungal infection and he lapsed into a coma.These are without question the most important sources of information about early railways and early locomotives to emerge since Dendy Marshall, and in many cases change our perspectives of this period without diminishing the significance of George Stephenson.
Learning Objectives. This is an intermediate level course. After taking this course, mental health professionals will be able to: List and discuss four medical causes of mental disorders. As you become more skilled writing research papers, you may want to meld the results of your study with a discussion of its implications.
Driscoll, Dana Lynn and Aleksandra Kasztalska. Writing the Experimental Report: Methods, Results, and Discussion.
The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University. The Talks of DEF CON Speaker Index. 0 0xb A Nathan Adams Agent X Alex Thiago Alves Nils Amiet Ruo Ando.
At this point in your project, you are preparing to move from the research phase to the writing phase. You have gathered much of the information you will use, and soon you will be ready to begin writing your draft. Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years.
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