|Model of the path taken by the rod & its impact on white matter.|
Besides reinforcing the idea that Gage was incredibly "lucky" in that this accident didn't kill him, the research also attempts to shed light on the role of white matter in shaping the behavioral changes experienced by Phineas.
The article is getting a lot of attention from Gage fans everywhere (e.g., CNN Health) and has sparked renewed interest in the story of the poor Phineas, who may not have been as permanently impaired by the injury as psychology lore would have us believe. In all, Gage's case is a great reminder of both the strengths and limitations of using case examples to learn about the brain. And these images are going straight into next year's slides for my neuroscience unit.
Van Horn JD, Irimia A, Torgerson CM, Chambers MC, Kikinis R, et al. (2012) Mapping Connectivity Damage in the Case of Phineas Gage. PLoS ONE 7(5): e37454. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037454