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The Story Of Phineas Gage: Redux

From the collection of Jack and Beverly Wilgus.
Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this month, a construction worker in Brazil suffered a strange and grisly construction accident - an iron rod fell from the fifth floor of the building on which he was working. The bar broke through the worker's helmet -- and his skull, eventually exiting through one of his eyes.

Fortunately, the worker is expected to recover - and because of that, he's drawing comparisons to Phineas Gage, a New Hampshire-born railroad foreman who suffered a similar accident in the 19th century – and whose unusual recovery contributed to the scientific understanding of the human brain.

Hear NHPR’s Brady Carlson in conversation with Dominick Hall, curator of the Warren Anatomical Museum at Harvard Medical School, where the skull of Phineas Gage resides today.