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Brain Cogn. 1986 Jan;5(1):67-107.

A wonderful journey through skull and brains: the travels of Mr. Gage's tamping iron.


Phineas Gage was injured by his tamping iron nearly 140 years ago, and only one similar case has been reported since then. In this paper, the contemporary popular and medical responses to the news of Gage's accident are summarized. An attempt is made to evaluate the contribution of Harlow's treatment of Gage as well as the successive bearings which the case was thought to have on analyses of brain function, aphasia, and frontal lobe function.

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