Phineas Gage – Unravelling the myth
Could you survive a small crowbar passing completely through your head? Most psychologists would answer ‘Yes’: almost all of them learned that Phineas Gage did. Although Phineas’ accident occurred 160 years ago this month, its consequences are still discussed in most introductory textbooks of psychology, neuropsychology, and physiology. You might therefore think much has been learned since 1848, when the accident happened, and the publication 20 years later, in 1868, of a significant account of its psychological consequences. But in fact little has been added. Moreover, much of what has been written is completely wrong. So, why should Phineas still be of interest?