Fluorens Pierre (1794-1867) is a famous French psychologist illustrious for his brain mapping studies in which he established that different parts of the brain serve different fundamental functions such as breathing, movement and circulation, just to mention but a few. During his studies, Fluorens would destroy specific parts of the brain while noting the consequential behavioral changes (Cleveland, 2005). At some instance, Fluorens discovered that the normal brain behavior returned to normal after some time after destroying some specific parts of the brain; a clear indication that some portions of the brain share localized functions (Cleveland, 2005). In essence, Flourens had proved that the cerebral hemispheres in the brain are detrimental for the hyper cognitive functions. Furthermore, he was able to demonstrate that the integration and regulation of motility is utterly performed by the cerebellum while any impairment to the medulla will ultimately render useless certain body vital functions like the general body stamina, body circulation and the respiration (Schwartz & Begley, 2002).
Subsequently, Paul Broca (1824-1880) is a renowned anatomist for his formidable contribution towards the brain function. He was able to coin the “Broca’s area” a region responsible for speech production and situated at the frontal lobe (Cleveland, 2005). Following a post-modern autopsy on a patient named Leborgne, Broca was able to determine the cause of localization of language to be due to the presence of a syphilis-caused lesion that purportedly ascribed the speech output region (Cleveland, 2005).
The two experiments are imperative for the case of Phineas Gage (1848) who was involved in a brutal accident which convincingly impaired certain vital functions on his cranial system. After miraculously surviving a blast at his railway construction work site, he succumbed to injuries involving skull damage by the lodging of a piece of metal rod to his head. This accident is indispensable in both studies, in that Gage’s inability to dispense his normal duties at the construction site, for instance, his low concentration was a clear indication of brain damage. He was probably impaired in the cerebral hemisphere which abolished his judgment capability. Consequently, his deterioration in coordination and leadership skills is evidence towards damage to the speech output region hence justifying Broca’s findings. However, it is important to note that there is luck of detailed localization of the brain, since memory, which is one of the impaired vital functions seen in Gage’s case, could not be determined in both the studies (Schwartz & Begley, 2002).
Cleveland, D. (2005). How Do We Know How the Brain Works. New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.
Schwartz, J. M. & Begley, S. (2002). The Mind and The Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force. New York, NY: Harper Perennial