• Non-Fiction
  • Phineas Gage A Gruesome But True Story About Brain Science

Phineas Gage A Gruesome But True Story About Brain Science

Phineas Gage  A Gruesome But True Story About Brain Science

Book Information

Reader Personality Type
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002
Good for Reluctant Readers?
Science Curriculum

Having a bad day?  Try this one.  Phineas Gage was 26 years old back in 1848 when a metal shard pierced his neck and went through his head, behind his eye, and then protruded out from his skull. He lived many years afterwards, but was never the same man. What did his injury teach us about the brain and about how it operates?


Phineas Gage worked as an explosives expert in railroad construction near Cavendish, Vermont. One day an improperly prepared charge blew at the wrong time and a three-foot long spear-like tamping iron was blown through the air and lodge in his head. It entered below his cheekbone and then exited the front of his skull.

Through it all Phineas stayed conscious and even visited with the people who were taking him to the doctor. He lived for another 11 years but who he was completely changed. Phineas used to be a mild mannered, amiable person who was now crude, argumentative and was not able to make good judgments.

Phineas’s accident though severe and life changing for him actually gave scientists the chance to research the brain and giving them knowledge and understanding in how the brain works and why we act the way we do.

There are many pictures and diagrams that help you see and understand the workings of the brain and pictures that are historical that bring the story to life visually. 86 pages
978-0618494781  Ages 9-13

Recommended by : Joleen Waltman, Librarian, Idaho USA

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