Phineas Gage: A Gruesome But True Story about Brain Science

by John Fleischman

In 1848, Phineas Gage, a foreman on a railroad construction blasting crew, was horribly... read more

In 1848, Phineas Gage, a foreman on a railroad construction blasting crew, was horribly injured when an explosion sent a 5-foot tamping iron through his skull. Remarkably, Gage survived. Indeed, he walked away from the accident site on his own two feet. In the years immediately following his accident, Gage's survival was considered a miracle. But Gage was a changed man. Once a smart, thoughful individual, he now did everything on impulse, with no regard for consequences. He seemed unable to emphathize or connect emotionally with people or events. Fleischman recalls the details of Gage's accident, and what is known about the 12 years that followed, until his death, in this fascinating account that also looks at how modern day science and technology has been used to shed further light on Gage's injury and subsequent behavior. (Ages 10-14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2003

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