Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Haley Reading Group: "Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient"
[The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2015)]
By Rae'Jean Spears
Sam Kean’s article, “Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient,” gives a background on the life of Phineas Gage. Phineas Gage injured the frontal lobe of his brain while working on a railroad and became a legend in science. Gage’s injuries have contributed to modern scientific advances concerning the development and use of certain areas of the brain.
An especially interesting part of the Kean’s article is Harlow’s almost obsessive fascination with Gage and his injury. What makes his interest in Gage especially interesting is that he never took credit for his role in Gage’s recovery, simply stating that “I dressed him, God healed him” (137). Harlow was interested in Gage’s overall wellbeing, not just using him as an interesting topic to discuss.
After reading Kean’s article, what are your thoughts about Harlow’s lifelong involvement with Gage? Please provide a page number citation.