Phineas Gage

Ausência de emoções.

Sem emoções não conseguimos estabelecer relações sociais - por não nos importarmos com as pessoas.

Sem emoções não conseguimos tomar decisões - se não gostamos de nenhuma camisola, não conseguimos escolher nenhuma porque são todas iguais.

A ausência de emoções apenas tem vantagens em situações de stress, pânico, etc. - onde a reacção emocional pode atrapalhar a razão.

Phineas Gage: In 1848 a construction foreman for a New England railroad company became the
victim of a bizarre accident. The railroad company needed to level the terrain and did this by using
controlled blasting. Phineas began tamping the iron directly over the powder before his assistant had
covered it with sand. This resulted in a powerful explosion which rocketed the (3-cm thick, 109-cm
long) tamping iron into the area just under the cheekbone, through his brain and out through the front
part of his skull. The tamping iron landed many yards away. Phineas survived but as a different man.

Phineas had no impairment of speech, or movement. His memory, new learning and intelligence had
not been affected. On the other hand, he had become irresponsible, irreverent and his respect for
social conventions which he once abided had vanished. "Gage was no longer Gage." The damage
involved both left and right prefrontal cortices which caused a defect in rational decision making. The
mysteries of frontal lobe function are slowly being solved, Phineas Gage played a substantial role. Ref.
Science, May 1994. view skull (50kb)