Phineas Gage and the Brain as Collection of Functions Paradigm

While talking with my students today on the eve of their chapter presentations from Oliver Sacks’ An Anthropologist on Mars, I briefly discussed the fascinating case of Phineas P. Gage, who survived a terrible brain trauma in the 19th century. His unfortunate accident and case history following the event when an explosive tamping iron burst through his skull and severely damaged the frontal lobes of his brain provided the proof for a new paradigm in neurological investigation. There are many websites with information about Gage, but the Wikipedia page devoted to him is a good starting point: Phineas Gage – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Published by Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.