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What happened to Gage?

The iron rod went in under Gage's cheekbone, and came out through the top of his head. It destroyed most of the front of the left part of his brain. Modern-day patients with the same area of brain damage are affected in the same way. They show no reaction to emotional events, and are unable to make personal or social decisions. They cannot plan, even a few hours ahead. These patients show how important emotions are to our powers of reasoning.

A reconstruction of Phineas Gage's skull, showing how the iron rod damaged the front part of his brain.
A reconstruction of Phineas Gage's skull, showing how the iron rod damaged the front part of his brain.
Department of Neurology, University of Iowa

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