Phineas Gage Revealed

Any introductory psychology text will tell you, Phineas Gage was a railroad man who suffered a terrible accident and lived, albeit as a changed man.  It wasn’t until recently that the world knew what the man looked like, until earlier this year we only knew what his skull looked like, hole and all.

As a 25-year-old railroad worker and supervisor in 1848, Gage was known by his friends as an amiable leader. His personality changed in an instant though when a tamping iron shot up under Gage’s cheek bone through his brain and out the top. That he never lost consciousness and survived is extraordinary, especially for the time period, but what was more extraordinary was his personality change following the accident. Once jovial, Gage became angry and prone to outbursts, unable to work for some time.

It was reported yesterday that the skull, pictured in thousands of texts, finally had a face to go with it. Given Phineas’ persona in the image, some have questioned whether accounts of his later life are still accurate. I’m just amazed at how quickly my idea of Gage has changed, from just a skull to a whole man with a sense of humor.

-Posted by Tyler

  1. April 12th, 2010

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