A Careful Examination Of Gage And Plasticity

Posted on August 10, 2017

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Here’s the article that I was talking about in regards to if Gage’s personality ever adjusted itself to his injuries. From the site:

The documentary evidence

Kotowicz begs to differ:

However, after examining closely the accounts of Phineas Gage as given by the doctors who knew him, Harlow and Bigelow, one must conclude that the supposed psychopathic traits are not evident.

The drastic discntinuity was not so much between Phineas Gage pre- and post-tamping rod but between Phineas Gage (1823-1860) and the lecture room legend.

What we can learn from contemporary accounts of Gage’s post-trauma life is this: For a while after the accident, he drifted, and even ended up briefly in P. T. Barnum’s freak show, exhibiting himself and the tamping rod. But he then settled down and worked a year and a half in a stable. Later, he went with a friend to Valparaiso in Chile where he cared for horses and drove a coach and six for eight years.

Kotowicz points out the obvious,

Working in stables is not a job for a psychopath. Horses are very sensitive and they require discipline and calm; they have to be attended to regularly, seven days a week, and work begins early.

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