Psychology - Case Studies

Notes from my textbook for my own learning, that i'm sharing with you.

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Reianna Shakil L6EFPsychology (Date)
Case Studies
Phineas Gage Henry M
Phineas Gage was a young railroad worker in H.M. had brain surgery in the 1950's, to stop
1848 who had an accident at work. He was his epileptic seizures. During the operation,
forcing gun powder into a rock with a long his hippocampus was lesioned (damaged).
iron rod when the gun powder exploded. The After the surgery, most of his mental
iron rod shot through his cheek and out the processes were the same as before.
top of his head, resulting in substantial However, he suffered from a kind of memory
damage to his frontal lobe. Incredibly, he did problem called anterograde amnesia.
not appear to be very hurt. His memory and
mental abilities were intact, and he could H.M. could not form new long-term
speak and work. However, his personality memories. He could remember things from
totally changed. Before the accident, he had before his operation, such as his friends'
been nice to be around, but afterward he names and events in his life. The anterograde
became ill-tempered and dishonest. He lost amnesia made it impossible for him to learn
his job and ended up working as an exhibit at new things from after the surgery. Even if he
fairs. spent the day with a new person, he would
Phineas Gage's injury served as a case study not remember him or her the next time they
for the effects of frontal lobe damage. He did met. Events that H.M. went through after his
not lose a specific mental ability, such as the surgery would not be put into his long-term
ability to speak or follow directions. However, memory. He had to write notes to himself all
his personality and moral sense were altered. day long so that he knew what he had eaten
Psychologists now know that parts of the for breakfast, that he had already gotten his
cortex are involved in general mental mail, and so forth. Psychologists studied
processes, and damage to those areas can H.M. for years. This case demonstrated the
greatly change a person. effect of hippocampus damage on memory.
Clive Wearing KF

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Reianna Shakil L6EFPsychology (Date)
A British man, Clive Wearing, who contracted KF, who suffered a motorcycle accident causing
a viral infection which attacked areas of his damage to his left parietal occipital region of the
brain had a number of interesting deficits that have
brain, damaging the hippocampus and been intensively studied (e.g. Shallice & Warrington,
associated areas. Wearing lost all his ability to 1970). KF showed very poor digit span (usually less
transfer memories from STM to LTM.…read more


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