Assignment 2:Plasticity

One of the most remarkable things about the central nervous system is that it is inherently plastic. While traumatic injuries result in scarring that impede the re-growth of normal functions, the nervous system can also re-organize circuits to bypass lost functions. Even severe injury can be re-gained if the proper coaxing occurs as seen in the rat study. On January 8, 2011, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot in the head and suffered traumatic brain injury. Physicians medically induced a coma to remediate the trauma associated with the injuries and to aid in recovery. For this assignment, please watch the video at and write an essay as a reply below. This should cover the following items:

  • Describe how physicians remediated the damage induced. You should actually go outside of the ABC site to research this a little. Describe the parallel pathways utilized in the therapy and think about the difference between your own implicit/explicit pathways.
  • Indicate your opinion about whether she was the same person(personal identity) after the injury recovery. Think about what makes someone who they are cognitively. Think about someone’s identity as a continuum of their cognition. Is someone who recovers from other types of brain injuries (eg. stroke) the same person?
  • Read about Phineas Gage and Henry Molaison. Does this change your ideas about personal identity with respect to a continuum of cognition or can you modify/redefine personal identity.
  • Reflect on Assignment 1. Now that you have learned about the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system, how do you appreciate the parts and functions of the nervous system? What do you think creates a cognitive continuum if the parts (neurons/glia and channels/pumps and circuitry) are so simple or complicated? Does your understanding of the A&P change the way you feel about what you wrote for Assignment 1?
  • A final reflection on how these stories and their effects on you. Make this meaningful based on your naive outlook at the beginning of the course and how you feel now as someone with a basic understanding of physiology.

This assignment is due December 17th.

27 responses to “Assignment 2:Plasticity

  1. Assignment 2 ” Gabby Gifford: finding voice through music therapy”

    – When Congresswoman Gabby Gifford was first injured by the gunman in Colorado, she had to undergo immediate emergency brain surgery. The trauma Gabby received by the bullet caused her brain to swell. In result, the physicians needed to remove a piece of her skull to allow her brain to swell outward instead of inward. By allowing the brain to swell outward, lowers the probably for tissues located further within the brain to become damaged by swelling. The downside of this procedure is that a piece of the brain is left vulnerable to injury, because it is without its protective shell (the skull). Four months after this first procedure was done, Neurosurgeons went back into Gabby’s head to replace the piece of the skull with a plastic replacement. This procedure is called “Hemi-Craniectomy.”
    Immediately following Congresswoman Gabby’s first surgery, she started to receive speech therapy. Gabby was diagnosed with ” Expressive Aphasia.” The part of her brain in control of comprehension, was not damaged, nor was the part of her brain in control of speech. The damage in Gabby’s brain was within the pathway from the comprehension portion to the language portion. This made it very difficult for Gabby to speak. Gabby’s therapist decided to try music therapy to help Gabby learn to speak again. The therapist wanted to use music therapy to help train Gabby’s brain to use a different pathway to get from comprehension to speech. Music is accessed in different areas in the brain that aren’t the same as language. Gabby’s frustrations with speech therapy came because she was trying hard to explicitly remember the words and speak them. Music therapy helped Gabby to speak the words implicitly, because she sung naturally. The music tricked her brain into speaking the words.
    When I study for tests and quizzes I try to store the new items I am learning using explicit memory. I take the material and try to replace them to things that I have already learned. Using this pathway helps me to retain the information longer.

    – After reading articles and watching videos about Congresswoman Gabby, I have an idea of the type of women she was prior to her brain injury. Gabby’s husband described her as “energetic” and “optimistic.” These opinions have been supported by the work she has done as a congresswoman, and by many of the photographs you can find of her smiling or laughing. After watching the 20/20 interview of Gabby post-injury, I can honestly say that she seems to be the same person. You can still see joy and excitement behind her eyes and within her smile. Gabby slowly becomes more of herself the more she recovers. When Gabby was frustrated with attempting to speak Gabby’s speech therapist stated ” The old Gabby is still inside struggling to get out.” Even with this stated observation, I would still say Gabby was still optimistic about her recovery, she was just frustrated with the process. The brain injury does not change the person she is.
    Personality changes can occur when there is trauma to the brain. I believe it strongly depends on what area of the brain is injured and what function that area is responsible for. The things you learn and store in your memories such as, your culture, religions, and education, help in developing your personality. A person who has suffered from a stroke is still the same person.
    – Phineas Gage was a 25 year old male, living in the mid-19th-century, who was injured by an accident with a metal rod. The rod went thru Phineas cheek, and out the back of his head. After the accident, many of his friends said he was “No Longer Gage.” He became rude and had trouble completing his tasks at work. Phineas even lost his job. Neuroscientists used Phineas case, to look further into the possible link between brain trauma and personality changes. Phineas brain injury changed his personality. This is the opposite of Henry Moliason a.k.a ” H.M.” H.M was a man who suffered violent seizures. In 1953, at age 27, he underwent a surgery to remove his hippocampus, in an attempt to rid him from seizures. After the surgery H.M no longer had seizures, but the physicians discovered that he developed amnesia. H.M could not remember the past 11 years of his life prior to the seizures. He thought he was 16 years old. H.M’ s personality did not change, but some of his neurological development did.
    After looking at these two cases; I will not change my opinion about Congresswoman Gabby’s personality post-surgery. Her personality did not change, she is still friendly, energetic, and optimistic. Her personal identity may have been modified after the accident. She is no longer just Congresswoman Gabby Gifford, she is now Congresswoman Gabby Gifford and survivor of a traumatic brain injury.
    – What I most appreciate about the nervous system is all of the activities it allows me to do without me consciously knowing I am doing them. The nervous system houses my brain, spinal cord, and all nerves which help my body protect itself. When I come into contact with a hot surface, my hand moves before my brain and self have registered that the surface is hot. This is all possible because of my nervous system. I think that as your body grows and you become self aware of the things going on within your body, this creates a cognitive continuum of the parts within the nervous system. Also, as the nervous system works with your other body systems ( the skeletal system which protects the brain and spinal cord).
    When I first worked on Assignment 1, I had some prior knowledge about body systems and how they work. Now that I have taken A&P 1 I will walk away with a more detailed version of how the body systems work, including the nervous system. My opinion from assignment 1, about Ann’s brain disorder in relation to the brain being the control center, does not change.
    – When I finished assignment number 1, I was saddened by the stories. I was also confused as to how and why the brain did what it did to Ann; just because of emotional changes. I still feel saddened by Ann’s story and others like hers, because even after taking this course, I have still not learned a cure or prevention for: memory loss, Alzheimer’s, dementia, etc. I do have a better anatomical understanding of how these diseases happen.
    I have a different opinion regarding Congresswoman Gabby’s, Phineas, and H.M’ s stories. All of their brain injuries happened because of human error. Although, they are still sad stories, they are easier to understand. This is because the cause and prevention for their brain injuries, can be determined.

  2. Candace Jackson

    Congresswoman Gabby Gifford was shot in the left side of the brian by crazed gunman. Gabby was in critical condition. The doctors had to remove part of the skull to relieve swelling of he brain. Once recovery began, Gabby suffered from aphasia, which is a inability to speak because of damage done to her language pathways in her brain’s left hemisphere. The speech part of her pathways was damage, but her comprehension pathways were undamaged. The pathways were no longer able to send signals together due to the damage of the speech pathway. Gabby had to relearn how to walk and talk through therapy. Since the area she was shoot in was the left side of her brain, it cause damage to her language and speech. She was not able to talk. Within 10 months of speech therapy they began to use a method involving music to form a new area in her right hemisphere of her brain to comprehend language. Music works and both sides of the hemisphere of the brain. So this method not only worked but eventually she could discontinue the singing and just sound out the words alone. The therapy was trying to use a different area of the brain to be able to process new pathways to use language in. There is a big difference in my pathways because I have no trauma to my brain. I am able to speak fluidly and use all motor sensors accurately.
    I don’t think Gabby is the same person she was cognitively before her incident. For obvious reasons. She might think she is the same person but once something that traumatic occurs in your life it cause changes you cognitively also physically. She will not fully recover back to who she once was. So she will have to adapt to the new life she will have to live. No matter how much therapy helps she could never be the exact person pre-trauma. When some has a stroke I’ve been told that they never feel like the same person from before. They can not physically or cognitively preform like once before. Phineas Gage and H M, were both injured in the brain. They both were not the same person as they once were just as Gabby. I feel once you under go removal or damage to he brain and have pathways damage, it will always be error in how you preform and think. A person can redefine personal identity. But, in saying that it means their redefining a new personal identity in which suits them with there disabilities. After attending A&P class it does give me a new outlook on how important health and keeping organs safe are. I appreciate that I have a normalcy with my anatomy. I think DNA has a big part on what creates a cognitive continuum. i do have a better outlook on the first assignment now that i have a better knowledge on A&P.
    All of these stories touched my heart. I had no idea how difficult it can be for someone that was once healthy have to go through relearning how to speak or to have deterioration of the brain. But, it’s great to see how science can somehow figure out ways to make new pathways and keep people alive and have a chance to continue to live their life.

  3. 1)The damage was done in the pathways between Wernicke’s area, the speech interpretation area, and Broca’s area, the speech
    production area of the brain. Gaby knew the words, but could not produce them. As has been proven, the brain
    has the capacity to rewire and create alternative pathways, in this case, toward the ability to speak. In this process, there
    are multiple ways that the brain can rewire itself, using for instance neighboring neurons to replace dead ones or damaged
    ones. Essentially, a new circuit was rewired in Gabby Gifford’s brain through the use of music-based therapy. Music
    is received by multiple areas of the brain, while language only in 2 areas. Researcher’s have not exactly pinpointed
    how this mechanism works, but the idea is that while those music areas are undamaged and neuron-active, the brain
    can use these pathways to target their memory storage and to produce the right words.
    In an undamaged pathway, such as my own or someone who has never experienced brain damage, the pathway between
    speech understanding and speech production is the most efficient. Although, Gifford’s is able to talk and walk again,
    the new circuit created in her brain by the stimulation of music is not as quick as the one between Wernicke’s and
    Broca’s area. My theory is that in MOST cases, the functioning aspect of the brain is done in the most efficient
    ways as possible. Communication is key to survival so the brain will want to do this as quick and as accurate
    as possible.

    2)You can say that what makes who you are is a complex set of elements in the brain that integrate and cooperate
    together to make up one functioning whole. This includes the science that we currently know about the brain and
    also all the unknowns about the brain. We still have yet many discoveries to make about our organ of intelligence.
    In the case of Gifford’s, I believe that she was actually lucky that
    critical parts of her brain were not harmed. For instance, if she had had severe pre-frontal cortex
    injury, it would be unlikely that her personality would still be the same (such as in Phineas Gage’s case). However,
    you can’t really say she is the same because like doctors say, functioning will improve but things will not be the
    same as before. On the one hand, she’s not the same because her brain has been redesigned in order for her
    to salvage her speech functions, but on the other hand, much of her old personality is still there as those parts
    remained undamaged. People also say that her old upbeat personality was still there.
    In essence, there is no absolute answer because personality is definitely a continuum of cognition and it depends on
    how much damage is done and to what parts of the brain.
    In the case of stroke patients and cases of dementia, critical parts of the pre-frontal cortex are damaged such as memory
    and problem-solving abilities and that definitely causes changes in personality.

    3)As can be seen in the case of Phineas Gage where severe damage to the frontal part of the brain caused major
    personality changes. This does not change my opinion on the linkage between personality and cognition. Henry Molaison
    was essentially left without his memory after the surgery to cure his epilepsy. You can say that personality is developed by a complexity
    of circuits, ones that involve the collection of stored information, from descriptive memories and events to emotional memories.
    There is no doubt that Henry lost his old self on that surgical bed.

    4)My thinking has not changed but has been enriched by further understanding of human anatomy and physiology.
    Although the anatomy and locations of neurons can be easily studied and understood, there is much more to learn
    about how connections work, especially in the brain. What creates a cognitive continuum is the symphony that is
    created when all these pathways and circuits are at work dictating our behavior. We are a complex species due to these
    complicated pathways and communication channels provided by the nervous system.

    5)These stories were all very inspiring and mind-opening. For instance, I never knew that the brain could re-circuit
    itself so efficiently and so quickly. Although one always learns in general science classes that adult-stage neurons
    are not regenerative, one has the impression that we are extremely delicate to injury. This is true to an
    extent, but it turns out that the brain is amazingly intelligent in responding to trauma. I can understand now what
    makes us so adaptive and efficient, giving me room to wonder how we will keep evolving as a species. It demands
    a deep desire, diligence and time to put everything together into one piece, to be able to understand the functional
    human body. A&P I is the beginning of this process to be able to understand.

  4. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords suffered from aphasia, the inability to speak due to damage in the left hemisphere of her brain, which affected the language pathways. Physicians used a music therapy in order to help Giffords relearn language. The left hemisphere of the brain is primarily known as the language brain; thus, Giffords lost her ability to articulate words; however, music activates visual, motor and coordination on both sides of the brain. Music and language share some common neural resources; however, they also have their own independent pathways as well. Music and speech processing parts of the brain remain in close proximity in the frontal and temporal lobes and are partially overlapped, which defines a close relationship between the two.
    Implicit pathways involve acquired knowledge that is not available to conscious access. An example would be learning a song. Many times, when a song plays on the radio, frequently, people usually will unconsciously learn the lyrics and sing along. On the other hand, explicit pathways involve the conscious recall and recollection. For example, learning a new language requires recognition of the grammar and the foreign language.
    Gabby Giffords was definitely a changed person after the brain injuries. Many people suffer from unfortunate events which alter their lives. Giffords lost her ability to speak and through many therapy sessions, she regained her ability of language. After such a traumatic event, no one person is remains the same. I believe that any individual who goes through such an experience must change mentally, emotionally and physically.
    Phineas Gage and Henry Molaison both changed after alterations were made to their brain. Phineas Gage’s personality change after damage to his frontal lobe further demonstrates my belief that personal identity changes with experience. Henry Molaison had a bilateral medial temporal lobe resection, removing these parts of the brain, and he also showed changes in his personality afterwards
    The brain is a very special and important structure to each of us individually. It defines the person who we were in the past, who we are in the present and who we will be in the future. I believe a cognitive continuum is created by a mixture of both physical and environmental factors, which defines who a person is. Understanding anatomy and physiology clarifies many aspects of the body, especially the brain, in which I did not know of before taking this class.
     These stories of Gabby Giffords, Phineas Gage and HM makes me want to appreciate life more. Each day, we live our lives without really valuing what we have and who we have in our lives, as many times, we are too caught up in our individual schedules; however, life is too short. The recent hitman shooting in Midtown also made me realize that life is too delicate ,as I actually work down the street from that block and was able to see the crime scene out my window, to be caught up in minor things. Life is too short, Appreciate and value what we have now

  5. Kary Paulino
    Assignment # 2
    January 8, 2011, Congresswoman Gabrielle Gliffords was shot on the left side of her head by Jared Lee Loughner, a heartless man who ended up shooting nineteen people of whom six died in Casas Adobes, Arizona. Gliffords was rushed to the University Medical Center of Tucson. Luckily, Gliffords was diagnosed with a bullet injury on the left side of her brain and not on the midline of her brain, which would have been more critical. Doctors immediately rushed her into surgery to extract skull fractions while also removing part of her skull to avoid further brain injury as well as some necrotic tissue from her brain. This necrotic tissue is a group of dead cells in the body caused by injury or disease. Gliffords was then placed in an induced coma to allow brain resting. When occasionally awakened, she would respond to simple commands but unable to speak. Gliffords now suffered from expressive aphasia: the inability to speak because of damage to the language area on the brain’s left hemisphere. Surprisingly, Gliffords recovered from certain damages rather quickly. In less than a month she was able to breathe on her own. Slowly, she was being able to sit up and move her legs with some help of the hospital’s staff. Gliffords had a surgery performed by an ophthalmologist to repair her damaged eye socket as well as another reconstructive surgery. Gliffords health state was impressively improving. One of the hardest tasks she had to face was being able to speak again. It was truly traumatizing for her.

    Thankfully, Music therapy helped her layer words on top of rhythm, aiding her to get back to her normal life. With neuroplasticity, Gliffords’ brain was able to patch new pathways around damaged areas. Music isn’t accessed in the same area of the brain as language. This helped Gliffords tremendously, since she sung naturally, it was easier for her to “trick” her brain by singing her words instead of literally speaking. This made me realize how much implicit and explicit pathways are used in my everyday life. For example, singing part of a familiar song just like Gliffords or identifying who is who or what is what. Like the fact that I already know how to drive but sometimes I must recall certain signs from my learner’s manual.

    Gliffords was very fortunate to have certain parts of her brain uninjured. It is complicating to tell if she really is the same person because she still has that same charismatic personality who is also full of energy and with the tremendous desire to better herself but in the end it is obvious that she will never be the same exact person she once was. I’m sure that in some way or another it affected her mentally, emotionally, and physically.

    Phineas Gage and Henry Molaison are perfect examples for my opinion. Gage’s personality changed immensely; so much that his friends and family found it hard to recognize that he was really alive. Gage’s recovery was long and difficult, after being hit on the back of his left eye and out at the top of his head with an iron rod. This damaged his left frontal lobe which caused him to change his personality tremendously, not only because of the injury but because of the effect people had towards him after the injury. Molaison also suffered from personality changes after getting his hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, and amygdala removed to stop epilepsy. He was then diagnosed with amnesia while later having anterograde amnesia as well as retrograde amnesia. Molaison experienced being a whole new different person. He suddenly thought he was a different age and thought he was someone he really wasn’t.

    This course has given me a whole new perspective into the world of science. I appreciate my body a whole lot more but most of all, life. My thinking has been enriched and I definitely understand human anatomy and physiology a lot more than before. It’s great to see how much anatomy and physiology connect and how much more sense the tasks I perform daily makes. They’re made to better myself and to keep my mind and body functioning daily. I’d like to believe a cognitive continuum is created by environmental factors. I still have a lot to learn but once I finish my A&P 2 course I am sure the puzzle will come together. This will make me even more appreciative of my body. Most of all, my brain, which without, I am nothing.

  6. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head on January 8th, 2011. The bullet damaged the left hemisphere of her brain. Miraculously Giffords was a part of the 10% of victims that would survive a gunshot wound to the head. After stabilizing the congresswoman, doctors waited anxiously to see what the extent of her damage would be. Giffords lost control of the right side of her body and the ability to speak. It was found that the area affected by the injury was Broca’s area. This part of the brain controls speech. Doctors found that Giffords was able to comprehend but had difficulty verbalizing her responses.
    In an effort to give the congresswoman her “voice”, the medical team decided to use a different part of the brain to induce her verbal communication skills. We learn through both implicit and explicit pathways. Implicitly our minds take the pathways that are most suitable for our learning, such as the Broca’s area automatically dominates our speech. These pathways don’t require conscious control. We automatically store memories and are able to apply them to the present. On the first day of A&P 1 students knew to go inside the classroom and sit down for instruction to begin. We had all done it before and more than likely, we did not have to consciously learn this behavior. We have done it all our lives. Explicit pathways require our cognition. I had to research and find correlations between what we have learned in class to the articles that we have to read for this assignment. I had to look up definitions and studies to reinforce my understanding before I could develop and opinion about the subject matter.
    In the case of Giffords she will have to explicitly learn how to speak. Something that came so easy before and required no thought after grade school. She had lost the capacity to pronounce syllables and use intonation. Another part of the brain is able to create sounds through music. Using this part of the brain the therapy team successfully induced speaking. This process was difficult because Giffords had to teach speaking to a part of her brain that controlled singing. The decision to try this method was a wise one. Since Gabby was still able to use her voice and control her mouth to sing, these same abilities could bring her speech back. The process is long and strenuous, but after 10 months Gabby is able to expresses her feelings one word at a time. As the therapy continues the hope is that she will be able to form sentences again.
    Personality is a combination of characteristics that makes an individual unique. These characteristics are developed by experiences in life. The environment in which one is raised and the belief systems one adheres to, all mold the personality of that individual. It is obvious to me that Gabby Giffords still has the same personality as she did prior to the incident. Broca’s area has not been linked to personality traits. In interviews we still see the vibrant Gabby that her family described her as. She is full of smiles despite her ordeal. She still has a great love for her husband. The words that she can’t say – he is able to verbalize for her because he knows the personality of his wife. He can complete her sentences when she is struggling. She still has her memories, her passions, her likes, loves and dislikes. Her experience now will impact her emotionally and would affect her personality in how she handles certain situations. This adjustment does not change who she is. Every individual is impacted by the events that occur throughout life and your personality determines how you react to each situation. When encountering similar situations again, the outcome of previous instances will affect our response.
    In stroke victims different parts of the brain can be impacted. Depending on which part of the brain is damaged, there would be alterations to personality. In most stroke victims there is damage in the parietal lobe and motor cortex. This would cause paralysis of the opposing side of the body and in the equivalent side of face. These seem to be the most common symptoms. Some patients experience memory loss, but I have never encountered any stroke victim that exhibited this. Of course the results of such a traumatic experience would alter someone’s outlook on life, but their personality is not depleted, just developed.
    The frontal lobe is believed to control personality and behavior. Damage to the prefrontal cortex has been linked to unsociable behavior. Injured patients have no problem verbalizing appropriate responses and behaviors for given situations – however when placed in the said conditions, the actual response was more primitive. The subjects went for immediate gratification instead of the socially accepted reaction. In the case of Phineas Gage, at twenty five years of age, the frontal lobe in the left hemisphere was injured. This accident occurred in 1848, and the details of this event are limited due to poor record keeping. It is believed that, even though Gage was able to communicate and work after his injury, his personality drastically changed. This would correlate with the later studies that indicated that damage in this region would affect personality. Gage was alleged to have become violent, aggressive and out of his usual character. I feel that anyone that goes through such a traumatic event, regardless of whether or not the brain is damaged, will go through a variety of emotions. He would have to deal with the fact that he lost his job and therefore pay. He also went blind, so he would go through mourning the loss of this function. All of these sentiments could have triggered bitter feelings resulting in anger and short temper. The encounters that made Molaison so well-known were also documented years after his death – questioning the validity of these claims. It seems his cognitive ability remained intact because he was able to work. There was no indication that he suffered memory loss either. The behavior change did not necessarily affect his personality all together, but more affected his rationality.
    In another case, Henry Molaison had his hippocampus removed in an attempt to cure his epilepsy. The result was retrograde amnesia and global amnesia. Molaison was unable to create new memories because he no longer had the part of the brain responsible for this function. The hippocampus is now associated with converting short term memory to the long term. Without the ability to store these memories the short term memory is lost and new memories can’t be generated. Molaison also lost memories for events 11 years prior to his procedure. The loss of memory would have affected Molaison’s personality. He was unable to mature and was trapped in the mind of a 16 year old –stuck in an eternal loop consisting only of the present. He was no longer himself because he lost the ability to respond to the circumstances in which he was presented with because he couldn’t remember the situation long enough.
    There is much to be understood about the nervous system. For this reason this organ makes for interesting study. The uniqueness of neuronal cells contributes to the complexity of the brain in general. The ability for one stimulus to travel the length of the body faster than a blink of an eye is astounding. I would have to attribute the ability of humans to reason to the vast presence of neurons in the brain. The difference between the human brain and other animals are the size of the brain and the amount of gray matter present. The folds that are in the brain also lend to an increased surface area that provides more space for neurons to be present. There are many theories on how the electrochemical processes of these cells bring about such a variety of skills in an individual. Somehow the capacity of retaining knowledge and learning are the result of a series of electrical synapse and gradients that travel throughout the brain as one interconnected web.
    My feelings towards the brain have not changed since the beginning of this course but my curiosity has heightened as I learn of the different cases of brain injuries and their results. I still remain disappointed with the fragility of such a complex and necessary organ. Even though we are able to train the brain to take different pathways to relearn skills that are lost in one region – learning requires time. It takes us years to learn vocabulary and apply communication skills. To try and develop these skills all over again will take up so much time that it would seem that all the years prior were a waste. There is a dependence on a single pathway which to me does not make our cognitive abilities very flexible at all. In our first assignment, Ann died before ever being able to recover. In the cases we have examined for this assignment it is important to know that the survival rate for these injuries is very rare. Most brain injuries result in death as the brain is extremely fragile. Even though we see Gabby make remarkable recovery the odds that she will ever be able to function as she did prior to her injury are very slim. She is also receiving several hours of therapy each day in attempt to learn the vocabulary she took 28 years to learn. If we believe that she can make a full recovery, how long will it take? With intensive training it should be less than 28 years, but how much less? Doctors have estimated that she will plateau in about 2 years. Whatever she has learned to say at this point will be all she will able to say for the rest of her life. My disappointment remains, but the mystery of it all still engages my dentate gyrus (now being linked to curiosity).

  7. – The trauma Gabby Gifford received after being shot in the head resulted in the swelling of her brain forcing the physicians to remove a piece of her skull so that her brain could swell outward in order for it to stop compressing itself within the skull. This allowed the tissues located further within the brain to not become more damaged due to the swelling. Immediately after Gabby’s first surgery, she started to receive speech therapy since the part of her brain that controlled comprehension was not damaged, and neither was the part of her brain that controlled speech. Since the damage to her brain was within the pathway from the comprehension portion to the language portion it made it very difficult for Mrs. Gifford to speak. Her speech therapist decided to use music therapy to help Gabby regain her ability to speak again. With the use of music therapy the brain is able to use different pathway to get from comprehension to speech. It has been shown that music can be used in different areas of the brain that aren’t the same as language. For Gabby to speak, she first started off by singing in order for her words to come out naturally. In some weird way singing was able to convince her brain to say words that after the injury she was left unable to say.
    -After any form of brain injury a person is never the same person that they use to be in some way or form. Even though Gabby Gifford shows great resilience and motivation in becoming the same woman that she use to be she unfortunately lost a part of herself. This type of traumatic event can affect anyone in different ways for Gabby Gifford a loud bang could possibly affect her by bringing her back to the even that drastically changed her life. One might not know now what can trigger a change in her personality but for many people who have expressed something as bad as she has they always go through some sort of change. She can however try her best to become a somewhat similar version of who she use to be before her injury. Any injury on the left side of the brain as mentioned in the video can affect a person’s way of articulating words and at the same time it affects their personality. Gabby Gifford has overcome a great deal since her injury and hopefully that determination can help her in gaining her old sense of self in order to continue on with her life.
    -Reading about both Phineas Gage and Henry Molaison gave more proof that ones personality is never the same as what it once was after any form of serious injury to the brain leaving them to be a different version of themselves. For many their change in personality is not as drastic as in the cases of Phineas Gage who at times became more agitated and aggressive and as Henry Molaison, who was unable to remember new memories after repeating the same scenario over and over again many times.
    -The nervous system is a remarkable thing it can overcome many injuries and it’s capable of adapting to changes when it expresses a traumatic event. After my semester in A&P 1 I still agree with my response to assignment 1. However, what Gabby Gifford went through was more drastic than what Anne went through both managed to overcome their difficulties thanks to the wondrous work of the nervous system.
    -This course has made me appreciate my body and the way it works a lot more than what I use to because it has taught me that no matter what I might go through my body will always find a way to heal itself. A&P 1 has given me the knowledge and ability to look outside the box when it comes to certain situations and that is what I will take with me in my future studies.

  8. 1) The way physicians remediated the damage induced to Gabby Gifford is by doing a procedure called Decompressive Hemicraniectomy. In this procedure, a piece of her skull was removed so the swelling can go down and at the same time reduce any damage to the tissue within her skull. After this came the processes of trying to see the consequences of this brain injury, and Congresswoman had suffered from what is known as Aphasia, which is the inability to speak because of damage to the language pathway in her brain’s left hemisphere. Congresswoman started receiving treatment in a way in which she would try listening to music and getting her ability to process language correctly again, this was accomplished after a while because of what is known as Neuroplasticity which is the brains ability to pave new pathways around a damaged area, in which the brain is rewiring, driven by what a patient is learning and experiencing. Music therapy is good for Gifford’s; it can rebuild language on the un-injured right side. One of Congresswoman Gifford’s songs that helped her get better is “American Pie.” The difference I would see with this story and my own when it comes to let’s say studying for an exam is I would use what is called explicit pathways. What I would do is try to recollect my memory and the facts I’ve already tried storing in my memory and break it down, such as breaking a word down into simpler meaning, for example the word “Osteocyte” I would break down into ‘Osteo’ which has to do with bones and the word “cyte’ which has to do with cell, so it has something to do with bone and cells.
    2) After all the therapy Congresswoman Gifford’s went through, she tried to go back to her old self little by little. She will never be the same person again because she will still be traumatized by what happened to her, even after all the therapy sessions she attends, so it won’t be possible for her to be her old self completely because of what happened to her. Before her injury, she was full of energy, always had a smile on her face, was very caring with her husband, and after her injury, she still managed to put a smile on the interviews she gave to the news channels. Congresswoman Gifford’s still has some difficulty speaking, she seems to struggle when she walks, her right arm is paralyzed and she’s partially blind. She will continue getting better with all the help and love she’s receiving. Someone who recovers from other types of brain injuries such as a stroke is not the same person afterwards because they usually have a arm that’s paralyzed, can’t eat that well, or have difficulty moving some part in their body.
    3) The stories of Phineas Gage and Henry Molaison, or as others know him as H.M, are told from years ago. They both had a change in their personalities due to a part of their brain being damaged. Phineas Gage was working one day trying to pack powder into a hole with an iron tamping rod, and the powder accidently detonated and the rod ended up penetrating his left cheek going into the frontal lobe of his brain. What’s incredible is right after this happened to him, he was able to walk and even talk. Gage was in a semi-coma state, and about a week later was released without any problems except that he couldn’t estimate size, and lost vision on one of his eyes. Since Gage frontal lobe was penetrated with the iron rod, his ability to function such as reasoning, language and social cognition had been damaged. Friends and family of Gage said he had been a hardworking man, and after his injury, he was irresponsible, drunk all the time and couldn’t hold onto a job, it changed his personality completely due to his brain injury. Henry Molaison or H.M was a man who had suffered from seizures and he had an experiment done on his brain to try and stop all these seizures he was having, but as a result, things got even worst. H.M Hippocampus was cut; it’s located around the same level as our ears are. H.M had developed amnesia due to what was done in his brain, so he wasn’t able to form new memory anymore. Every time he met someone, ate or even walked, it felt to him as if it was for the first time. He wasn’t able to hold a stable job due to the change in his personality.
    4) As this semester is coming to an end and having learned so much about how our brain and the Central nervous system works, I’m grateful for how my physical health is, while there are others that go day by day trying to find a cure for something they need to be fixed in their body. I’ve become even more aware of how our brain works and how well we need to take care of it, that’s why we should always wear a helmet when needed; our brain helps with things such as homeostasis which we really need in our body in order for it to function correctly. Everything in the brain works together to help our body function correctly. What I believe creates a cognitive continuum is being able to do the things you normally do every day, you being able to perform task helps whether it can be writing or doing activities outside. My understanding on A&P does change about what I wrote on my 1st assignment, it now makes more sense as to what happened to Ann and as time passes, we will discover new things about the brain and how to treat things affecting it.
    5) My reflection on these stories is that seeing what these people have gone through, I feel that I should take care of my body more, such as wearing a helmet, appreciating every day I wake up even more, and if something like this might happen to me later on, I may not be so lucky and be able to get better from it because injuries to the brain aren’t always a guarantee survival. Science will keep developing and helping out those who need to be helped with something they’re having trouble with.

  9. On January 8, 2011, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was struck with a bullet on the left side of her brain. This caused severe damage to many parts of her brain, including Broca’s area, the part of the brain associated with speech. Physicians were able to help Giffords speak again due to neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brains ability to create new pathways around a damaged area. Physicians helped Giffords speak again by training her brain to follow new pathways with the help of music therapy. The brain deals with music on both sides of the brain, but it mostly resides of the right. Instead of using the left side of the brain to speak, music therapy helped train Giffords’ brain to use to the right side of her brain to speak again. This kind of therapy aims to layer words with pitch, melody and rhythm. Giffords could not speak words but she could say them if she was singing a song, along with other words. Physicians used music therapy to train Giffords’ brain to produce speech by traveling through the pathway that travels on the right side of the brain and deals with music.

    The success of music therapy in Giffords’ case has a lot to do with Giffords’ implicit pathways. One of the reasons that music therapy worked is because Giffords knew a lot of songs. A previous experience, knowing and singing songs, helped Giffords speak. Music activates motor, visual and coordination areas in the brain, as well as deeper areas of memory and emotion. When music was playing, Giffords’ brain “remembered” the songs she used to know. Giffords’ brain was using an implicit pathway even though it was previously used to using an explicit pathway. When we speak or try to remember we use explicit memory. We recall a thought and say it. We recall a word we want to say and say it. Giffords could not do this. Even is she recalled words in her head, physically she was not able to say them. That is why music therapy, though successful, was a stressful experience on Giffords’ part.

    Before taking a bullet to the brain, Giffords is described a person with a lot of personality. She was full of energy, she was always smiling and she could even speak Spanish fluently. After the bullet and after the therapy, Giffords has a long way to go if she wants to be the person that she used to be. I do not think that she is the same person after recovery. Even if she wants to be, areas in her left-brain, which gave her her personality, have been permanently damaged. She was able to speak again because music is dealt with on both sides of the brain, but not all areas are located on both sides of the brain. Also, our cognition helps make us who we are. Cognition deals with mental processes of awareness, memory, knowledge perception and thinking. We are able to do a lot of things because we remember doing them before; we know the effects of different scenarios so we know how to act to get the desired outcome. If areas in the prefrontal cortex that deal with cognition were ruined, a person would not have previous knowledge of how they would have reacted. They would not think, plan or execute in the same way that they would have before the injury. Even if Giffords wants to work again, even if she has new plans in her mind that she wants to execute, she might not be able to even say them out loud due to her left-brain injury.

    I think that after a brain injury, a person redefines their personal identity. Even though pathways in the brain can be rewired, certain areas of the brain might also be permanently damaged. This is shown in the cases of Phineas Gage and Henry Molaison, they both “retained” parts of their personality but they also lost certain parts. Phineas Gage had a three and a half foot rod go through his head and destroy his left frontal lobe. It is reported that Gage seemed calm and like himself right after the accident, “No longer Gage,” after some more time, and finally back to “normal” after recovering. I think that Gage formed a new personality after his recovery. There are a lot of non-accurate records of his personality before and after the accident so it is difficult to compare. He definitely had permanent damage to his brain as proven by the compulsions that he had years after the accident. Henry Molaison is another example of someone who redefined his personality. He had his hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus and amygdala surgically removed to help cure his epilepsy. Afterwards, he suffered from anterograde amnesia and retrograde amnesia. He could not send new memories to his explicit memory and he could not remember events 1-2 years before his surgery and even some events that happened before that. This could have affected his personality because a lot of who we are is based on previous experiences. He could not be like he use to. Events that he might have experienced 1-2 years before surgery would be new to him.

    It is so interesting that the nervous system seems to be so simple yet it is very complex. Within the brain we have a complex highway made up of nerves that go up, down, switch sides and switch directions. All of these things affect us and make us who we are. I think that the cognitive continuum shows the complexity of our brain. It is able to bring together several things such as the view of a sunny day, the smell of flowers and the feeling of the sun touching our skin in order to bring up a memory. I think that the way in which the brain is wired can be both good and bad. The good is previously listed and the bad comes up when a brain injury occurs as shown in the case of Giffords, Gage, Molaison and even Anne Adams and Maurice Ravel. Adams and Ravel started to become very visual and artistic when their speech and memory started to fade. Their brain closed off one side and opened up a new side. I think this is shown in the cases mentioned. People have different pathways in their brain. They are all there; some are constantly practiced and reinforced while others are left in the dark. In the cases of all these people, they might have had damage caused to a certain pathway but with time and neuroplasticity, the brain rewired itself and opened up new pathways.

    The cases of Adams, Ravel, Giffords, Gage and Molaison really helped me to see the complexity and magnificence of the brain. I never really though of our having different pathways in our brain or of the way in which new pathways can be formed when some no longer work. In the beginning of the course I just knew we smelled and felt and tasted but I never though to think of how a certain sense can bring up a certain memory or a motor reaction. The stories have also made me more naïve now that I know the stories. I wonder if I could practice something that I do not normally do in order to reinforce a pathway that I do not commonly use.

  10. On January 8, 2011, Gabrielle Gifford’s was shot in the head point blank. She was a congresswoman in the 8th congressional district in Arizona. That day 19 people were affected, 6 were dead and 13 were injured. The suspect, identified as Jared Lee Loughner was detained by bystanders until he was taken into police custody. Federal officials charged Loughner on the next day with killing federal government employees, attempting to assassinate a member of Congress, and attempting to kill federal employees. He was just 22 years old.
    When Gifford’s was taken to the hospital she was in critical condition. The doctors worked feverishly to reduce the pressure on her brain by cutting a piece of her skull out and inducing her into a coma so her brain could rest. The brain is a sensitive part of our bodies and when trauma is caused to it sometimes the effects can be life changing and can make us different people. When Gifford’s awoke periodically, from her induced coma, she could do simple tasks. In one video she even smiled for her husband.
    Our brains all have a speech and communication area. One area is called Broca’s area; the other area is called Wernicke’s area. These two areas converse with each other frequently. Broca’s area is the area that we produce speech & language functions. Wernicke’s area is where we actually understand the speech and language. It also gives us the ability of the written word. When these two areas function together we are able to say what we feel, communicate with loved ones, write letters and even e-mail. Gifford’s anterior frontal gyrus was affected. The pathway that connected her broca’s are to her Wernicke’s area was damaged. In this case, she had a lot to say without the ability of being able to say it.
    The brain has this amazing ability to pave new pathways around damaged regions and Re-teach itself the same abilities but in a different pathway. This ability is called Neuroplasticity. It changes the neural pathways and synapses which are due to changes in behavior, environment and neural processes, as well as changes resulting from bodily injury. The brain is still an organ, but it’s special in the fact that it makes you who you are. We are cognitive creatures. We differ from animals greatly because we have the ability to think and reason. Our brains are larger and have more surface area with a denser gray matter and neural synapses. I think our thoughts, memories and values make us up as a person, but are brains are really made up of trillions of neural connections. Our cognitive abilities our built by neuron, glia, Microglia and many more simple and complex materials but, I don’t think that scientists still don’t know what truly makes the person’s identity or the soul.
    Music therapy is becoming a great technique for brain damaged patients. Music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function. It affects both right and left hemispheres. Gifford’s brain was rewired by this technique. It created a new pathway in her brain. Her Language capabilities wouldn’t be exactly the same anymore, so the music therapists had to go another route and helped Gifford to start singing to create a new pathway for speech. The right hemisphere took over the damaged brain tissue of the prefrontal cortex. I don’t think that Gabrielle’s personality changed. I watched a before and after video of her accident and she still seems, sweet, bubbly, kind and energetic. I don’t think she will ever be 100% of her former-self because her brain was damaged but, she hasn’t lost her identity. It looks like she wants to get back to work as soon as humanly possible and she’s still hungry for life. It’s a long road ahead but, when you have support from loved ones, great doctors, and speech therapists, that’s a recipe for success.
    Phineas Gage and Henry molaison both had parts of their brains either damaged or surgically removed. After Phineas gages accident affecting his frontal lobe and behavioral abilities, he was a different person. They say he regained some of his personality in later years but, that’s only speculation. Henry Molaison had a bilateral medial temporal lobe resection, removing his hippocampus, amygdala and Para hippocampal gyrus of the brain. He was known for serious memory disorders and short-long term memory problems; he also showed changes in his personality afterwards. I think both didn’t know there outcome because Gage had an accident and molaison didn’t want seizures anymore so they took the hand they were dealt.
    The nervous system is so delicate. I appreciate it because all that precious matter inside is the essence of our personality. Wired at birth, and rewired with every experience. Every fall, bruise and battle scar it shapes us. Our brains and spinal cords help us move around, play sports, travel, focus in school and give us the ability to walk upright. Learning anatomy and physiology this semester has been enlightening even though I already knew some things about the body. Learning about the brain and how people can overcome such great obstacles reminds me of the way the intestines works after removing your large colon. The small colon learns to absorb nutrients from your food and takes over the large colons job. It doesn’t work 100% like the colon did, but it still does the job. That how the brain works, it makes new channels and networks and makes our brains want to learn again.
    I feel much more confident than I did in the beginning of the semester it’s hard to go back to school after 6 years. Gabrielle Gifford recovery is inspiring. If she can recover from a bullet in the head that says a lot for people who say they won’t amount to anything because you just need the strength, knowledge and will power to do anything. I think I would have written assignment 1 the same way. I always knew the brain was special and miracles happen all the time. In all these cases, assignment 1&2, it’s all about the luck of the draw. Bad things happen to good people and people change cognitively from it in the end no matter what.

  11. josefina samaniego

    The skull provides a protective barrier for the human brain. It protects the soft tissue in the brain from any damage that may occur in the course of a persons life. The protection it provides can be affected by many different factors. In the case of Congresswoman Gabby Gifford a bullet penetrated her skull and caused damage to the left hemisphere of her brain. The recovery effort would prove to be the hardest for the once energetic woman. This injury would prove to test her abilities and show us the complexities that exist in the human brain.

    Fortunately for her the bullet went through the back of her head and came out her forehead which caused less tissue damage to occur in her brain. The injury was limited to the left hemisphere and contributed to her being able to survive the catastrophic wound. She was rushed into surgery where neurosurgeons preformed a decompressive hemicraniectomy on her. This procedure requires the surgeon to remove a part of the skull and allow the brain to swell. The swelling against the skull increases the pressure in the brain, if not removed and may cause more harm to the injured tissue by not allowing it to get the blood it needs. By removing part of the skull it allowed her brain to relieve the pressure and in the long run gave her a better chance at recovery. The doctor also made sure she was in a coma in order to allow her body to heal in a more controlled way.

    After her initial recovery Gabby did not appear to have a problem comprehending what was being said to her. She was harmed in the left hemisphere where speech center is located. It is the side of the brain that regulates patterns of breathing and vocalization needed for her to communicate. The motor command process by the speech center are adjust by the auditory area. She was unable to speak or form words when getting treated in therapy. The two hemispheres are responsible for specific functions that do not correspond to the opposite hemisphere called hemisphere lateralization. Ex. The writing, reading and speaking that was were Gabby Gifford was harmed. The team of medical professionals treating her diagnosed that she suffer from aphasia.

    Before her tragic injury she was an active and eloquent young woman who was able to get elected into Congress. It was a frustrating therapy for her to regain her ability to speak. Although she could not communicate she was able to formulate thoughts and this made it harder for her to regain her speech. In order to rehabilitate the left side of her brain the doctors used music therapy to help. Music is able to exist on both sides of the brain. Through music therapy it is possible to regain the ability to speak by making it process from the right hemisphere of the brain. Gabby was unable to speak the words by trying to express them explicitly. She had the words ready but she could not speak them. By using music she was able to use her implicit memory and she sung the words she previously was unable to say.
    The severe injury she sustained has changed her life forever. All the things she was able to do and express herself before will no longer be the same both physically and cognitively. Since her brain had to adapt to another way of existing it has affected her ability to walk and although she is able to express herself now it is not in the same way as before. Hopefully with therapy and time she will continue to progress. Her personality has to have some change because she had to adapt from a serious physical injury that should have killed her. She has Phineas Gages as an example of surviving a catastrophic injury. He sustained an injury to the left hemisphere of his brain in 1848 when an iron rod went through the left side of his head and was able to live for several years afterwards. After being comatose for several months he was able to recover to what was thought to be his will to survive. He was able to work and travel after the injury although people he knew said he lost some cognitive ability and some personality changes occurred he was still a functioning member of society.

    Another cited example of the brain function and memory correlation is Henry Molaison who in 1957 had surgery to remove his hippocampus in order to cure his epilepsy. In doing so he did relieve his epilepsy but he lost part of his memory. Yet he was able to retrieve certain memories from different parts of the brain causing him to be able to relearn certain things he had forgotten. These men and Gabby had different traumas to their brains yet were able to retain certain aspects of their personalities and with the healing process were able to overcome great injuries and survive which is the strongest aspect that the human brain has. The ability to adapt even in instances of great trauma.
    As in my previous assignment I found that the brain is so complex it surprises us in how the ability to survive is the strongest when faced with a change in the physiology. The examples are great tragedies at first but in the end the strong survival instincts are what make the brain the most valuable organ in our body. Before I took this course I was unaware of the many neurons and parts that exist in the human brain. The personality traits and the cognitive ability are found in the organ and make us who we are. The memories and experiences are stored there. When it is damaged the brain finds a way to preserve the person who is inside. Gabby changed physically but in the end her brain found a way to keep her alive.

  12. On January 8th, 2011, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot in the head by a deranged gunman. The bullet fired pierced the left hemisphere of Mrs. Giffords brain- an area of the brain that controls language and right side movement. Few people that sustain a gun shot wound to the brain survive. The rapid intervention with Mrs. Giffords by the medical team was a crucial part in her ability to recover. Surgery was performed to remove apart of her skull, in order to allow the brain to expand/swelling to occur and a tube to drain excess fluid from the brain. She was placed in a medically induced coma to allow her to brain to heal and perform neurological testing’s, her level of sedation varied. Sedation is one of the ways to take pressure off of the brain. It decreases the metabolism of the brain and blood flow and can help decrease pressure and help the survival of neighboring brain cells. Doctors also performed two more operations on Gifford: a tracheotomy to place a breathing tube in her neck and surgery to remove bone fragments in order to relieve pressure from fractures in her right eye socket. Eventually the neurosurgeons replaced the piece of the skull they removed with a plastic replacement. When she was medically stable she was transferred to a rehabilitation facility to continue her recovery with an array of interventions to further simulate the Brain.
    It was determined that the wound was away from these critical structures of the brain that was a positive side for the congresswoman. She was able to understand simple commands such as “show me your finger”. She was diagnosed with Aphasia. This made it difficult for her to express herself. Music therapy was introduced to the patient to assist with her with speaking again. Her level of frustration increased as she explicitly tried to remember the words being taught and was unable to express them. With the usage of music therapy she was able to implicitly express them through singing because that came naturally to her, it was in her unconscious. Through music she was able to reach into her stored knowledge about words and use songs to create new connections for speech. Music has been shown to increase dopamine levels that current neuropsychological theories associate with positive affect and feelings of well-being
    After sustaining an injury to the brain, I believe the individual does not return to the same level of function/cognition. There was an interruption in the functioning circuit of the brain. They will achieve a new level of functioning. Changes in their cognitive, behavioral and emotional functioning are widespread. The most common diagnoses associated with TBI are: major depression, alcohol abuse or dependence, panic disorder, specific phobia, and psychotic disorders. Many patients also have at least one personality disorder such as: avoidant, paranoid, and schizoid being the most prevalent. I see this occur often since I work on an inpatient psychiatric unit. Based on my interactions and assessments with this population, many are admitted due to behavioral disturbances secondary to the TBI. Collateral information from family and friends can identify that there has been changes in their personality and level of functioning since the TBI.
    There has been significant advancement in medicine on how to better understand the function of the brain but we still need further research. In comparison to the first assignment the two individual courses of actions were secondary to organic causes that were less likely to be detected or prevented because certain things just take its course. With Gifford her life was altered by the actions of someone else and the failure of the system to this person whom suffered from a mental illness. I am sadden by the changes that occur to people that were at some point high functioning and an event occurred that caused drastic changes in their lives and they loose themselves. Many times the individual is not aware of the change because there is no recollection or limited recollection. A lot of the burden falls on the love ones that remember who they were. I treasure every moment of my well being and hope not to experience such tragedy. After taking this course I have a better understanding of the brain function and its impact on our daily living.

  13. While watching the video “Inspired by Gabby”, it is safe to say that she underwent serious brain injure. After the gunshot to the left side of her brain, she underwent immediate surgery. Congresswoman Gabby Gifford could not speak because the left side is in control of the language but could sing because music is produced on both sides, which helps with motor skills, visual and coordination. The idea of music helping change language in our brains came from music possibly creating a language area in our right side. Music therapy was used in order for her to relearn language. She was also given speech therapy because she was diagnosed with Aphasia, which is the inability to be able to speak because of the damaged to her brain that affected her language pathways on the left side. But, the pathway which produces music was undamaged. The idea was to get the areas that could produce words up and running, if Gabby could sing then it was possible to speak again. Yes, this will take time but can be done as proven by the language skills of the Congresswoman up to date. I who has not undergone any brain damage can produce language rapidly and effectively. Therefore, with the assistance of neuroplasticity Gifford has acquired language and will continue to progress because it is possible.
    When asked this question I began to do some research of my own. I started to look for videos of Congresswoman Gabby before her injury, to see the form of debater she was. Debating was a part of her passion and work which deals a lot with cognitive thinking and processing. She was a very on point debater and always knew how to smart talk the other people while proving her point. She used many intellectual words during her debate and reasoning, she got her points across as fast as possible. I believe that yes, she may have the same intent to be who she used to be but it will never be the same. Her brain does that work as fast as it used to and her thought process isn’t as intellectual as before. She can try and do the same things and be a very happy person but it will never be the same as before. She will be a bit more delayed and will not be able to do all the things she use to do as fast as before. She has a lot of energy and she is trying but it is truthful to say she has gained a lot from the speech therapy and music but will not be the same person she used to be. She used to be Gabriel Gifford and now even the news is calling her Gabby it is as though they demoted her status as a person because she is no longer the same. Gabby seems more of a child’s name. I think she will work very hard at it and reach her highest potential but will not be how she used to be.
    After reading about Phineas Gage and Henry Molaison I will conclude that I do not change my mind about Gabby. I mean you can gain some things back but you will never be the same person again. I mean, brain trauma leads to personality changes and memory loss in most cases. While looking at Gage who was no longer himself to people who have known him all his life shows that personal identity can be lost or altered due to brain damage. He became rude and lack in work skills that he has gained throughout his entire life. When you are a specific way your entire life and do a specific job, this becomes part of your person it becomes part of who you are. So when you lose these things, then yes you lose part of yourself. Therefore, you are no longer the same person. H.M as well became a different person because he could no longer remember parts of his life or remember new memories. Yes, he was still capable of learning new things even though he could not remember how he learned them but he was no longer the same person. There was parts of his past that made him the man he was and he could no longer remember them. These two stories do not change my idea about personal identity and cognition. I believe it is possible to reach a high point in progression after brain damage but you will no longer be the same person.
    While enrolled in this course I did not know much about the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system. I believe it is not an easy thing to learn about because of all the names and structures but to understand the functions is simple. I appreciate the nervous system because I can complete tasks without having to think about them. Being able to do something unconsciously is the most amazing part for me. Most things are thought about and analyzed before being done but the simple things in life can just be done if you have an unharmed brain. I can tie my shoe without giving it to much thought and I can close my apartment door without giving it to much thought. These things to me are the things that I appreciate I am capable of doing. The nervous system is very complex but without it we wouldn’t be the same. When I first completed assignment one I did not have much knowledge about A&P but my thoughts stayed the same from that point of view. I always knew the brain was the most important organ in the body. But I am more aware of things I do know because I know where it is being processed and how it works which in my opinion is pretty cool. I appreciate learning everything I did in this course.
    Looking back at my journey in this course and everything I have learned in the process gives me a different outlook on the stories I have heard about in class. I mean when I first started the course I just wanted to past had no interest in really learning anything, but as I started to learn I gained an interest. At first I knew the brain was a very important organ in our bodies but didn’t really care how it worked. But now I appreciate everything my brain can do and how cognition has an impacted on my personal identity and who I am. I am aware of the importance of the systems in my body and now have some knowledge on how they function to keep me working on a day to day basis. It is very amazing what the brain can do when I hear the story of Gabby and H.M. Looking back I never had an interest to learn about this but now I do research based on my major. My focus is on individuals who have a chemical dependence and learning how the drugs affects and attacks their brain is interesting because you learn what it does to them. This is amazing to be able to know what parts of the brain are affected in an addict of a serial killer. This course was required but I am glad I took it because I get to take some information about how my body works with me when I graduate. Plus, I know the name of my bones which I also think is pretty cool.

  14. Gabby Gifford was shot in the left side her head. Immediately after she was shot, doctors performed surgery where they removed skull fragments and necrotic tissue from her brain to relieve the swelling. She was initially placed in an induced coma so her brain was able to rest. The left side of the brain controls speech and language. After the Accident, Gifford suffered from Aphasia. Aphasia causes inability to speak as a result of damage to the left side of the brain, controlling speech. As a result, Gifford experienced loss of speech and language ability and was unable to communicate. Following the accident, Gifford had a long road toward recovery. Ten months after the accident, Gifford was able to express herself and communicate thanks to music therapy. She used music as a form of communication when she was unable to find the words. This is an example of neuroplasticity, which is defined as the brains ability to find new pathways around damaged areas. Music therapy allowed Gifford’s brain to use a new pathway to speak. This is exactly how Gifford was able to overcome her problems with speech related issues, through music. Music allowed her to recall her ability to speak through the implicit pathway. The implicit memory is based on previous experience and is usually subconscious. Explicit memory is the conscious recollection of information.
    I believe Gabby Gifford is a different person after the accident. Her ability to learn was altered after the accident. Her ability to recognize and communicate is different after the accident. She had to reteach herself how to communicate which is different when you are a baby and after a brain injury. I think she was able to use her past memories to help her recover, but her cognition skills have been altered.
    Phineas Gage was a young man that sustained severe brain damage after a rod pierced through his brain. After the accident, doctors were able to operate on Gage and he survived. Many of his friends claimed he became different after the accident. I believe that severe accidents that affect the brain change a person’s identity, whether it is based on how they analyze or communicate. In the case of Henry Molaisan, he had a part of his brain removed to help with his epilepsy. The surgery affected his long term memory and he was able to use his short term memory recollection. Both of these cases reveal that the parts of the brain that control major parts of the nervous system also have a role in the way identities are reshaped.
    The nervous system is a complex set of mechanisms. I also think that it relies on many other components to function completely. When one part is altered through damage, the entire system changes. It is like a car, when one part is damaged the entire car will be affected, perhaps not immediately, but eventually it will affect the entire system.
    These stories represent the complexity of human beings. There are no simple explanations for the different ways people develop. I think physiology can help explain the scientific reasons to the way people function. However, sometimes people’s inner self can have an impact to the way our body functions as well. I still believe that things like will and persistence help the body function. It is not a lone working mechanism.

  15. Gabby Giffords received a bullet in head, especially in the left hemisphere of the brain and reach the paths of the language. Specialists used music therapy to help recover the language. The main function of left hemisphere is the language control. This is really something extraordinary for a person who was suffering from aphasia was able to locate the word through music. There is no doubt that music and language have some things in common. The Congress woman was completely lost the language and after several sessions of music therapy, she regains the use of the language once again. It seems that the music plays an important role in human life. According to Professor Schneider, neurologist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany shows that the brains of professional musicians are more developed than others.
    Schneider said that the part of the auditory cortex involved in musical practice is also a verbal memory. The miracle of Gabby Giffords pushes me more and more to love music and also encouraged others to appreciated music.

  16. Gabby Giffords was shot in the left side of her head by a crazy gunman. Gifford underwent surgery at University Medical Center. She was shot once and the bullet went through her left hemisphere damaging the area responsible for the speech and comprehension. She had to relearn how to speak all over again and music helped her to succeed. Giffords suffered from aphasia-the inability to speak because the language pathways in her brain were damaged. A human brain has unique and brilliant structures which amaze me. In Gifford’s case the brain started to pave new ways around damaged areas(neuroplasticity). Through functional magnetic resonance imaging, scientists have begun to map the brain’s many functions to specific regions. Whereas language is largely held in the left side of the brain, music activates visual, motor and coordination areas on both sides as well as areas deep in the brain involved in memory and emotion.(
    As we see from the video, Gabby Giffords have come a long way, she met a lot of challenges and doctors and therapists believe there is more coming on her way to recovery. But the most important thing to succeed is to have a strong personality and good spirit. She got both. Is her life going to be ever the same? I doubt it. There is a new way she is on right now. Her brain creates the new pathways, she is able to walk again , and talk, and comprehend. But the damage is done , she will never be the same again. With therapies and extensive exercising she will achieve a certain point, but is it going to be the way it was before?
    Personal identity is the unique numerical identity of persons through time. That is to say, the necessary and sufficient conditions under which a person at one time and a person at another time can be said to be the same person, persisting through time (Bernard Williams, The Self and the Future, in Philosophical Review 79. No. 2. (Apr., 1970), p. 161-180).
    Phineas Cage is known as a man who survived a terrible accident, a large iron rod went completely through his head, damaging the most part of his frontal lobe. His behavior changed and it was the result of the brain damage.
    Attributes ascribed to Gage which are either unsupported by, or in contradiction to, the known facts include mistreatment of wife and children (of which Gage had neither), an “utter lack of foresight”, “a vainglorious tendency to show off his wound”, inappropriate sexual behavior,inability or refusal to hold a job, plus drinking, bragging, lying, gambling, brawling, bullying, and thievery. None of these behaviors is mentioned by anyone claiming actual acquaintance with Gage or his family. (Jackson, J.B.S. (1849) Medical Cases (Vol 4, Case 1777) Countway Library (Harvard University) Mss., H MS b 72.4 (quoted at Macmillan 2000, p. 93)
    Jackson, J.B.S. (1870) A Descriptive Catalog of the Warren Anatomical Museum Nos. 949–51, 3106 (Republished in Macmillan 2000, in which see also p. 107).
    Macmillan & Lena 2010 passim presents previously unknown sources discovered post 2008.
    Accounts of Gage are compared to one another, and against the known facts, at Macmillan, M. “Phineas Gage’s Story”. Retrieved Oct 2, 2009. and in Macmillan (2000) (esp. pp. 116–119 and chs. 13–14).)
    The descriptions of Gage behavior were different and constructional. But it was obvious that the brain damage did change Gage personality. In the case of Henry Molaison who underwent the surgery to cure his epilepcy , we see that the surgical removal of hippocampus , parahippocampal gyrus, and amygdala he suffered the severe anterograde amnesia, he could not commit new events into his explicit memory. He failed to form new semantic knowledge. As we see all three cases are different. All the character’s lives above were impaired by one or the other type of brain damage(shooting, accident or surgical procedures). Their lives were impacted in a way which could never undergo an original pathway. By the end of this semester I feel that I most definitely gained more knowledge about human anatomy and physiology, it is interesting to know your body, to learn how it works, to feel the changes(in the brain)

  17. On January 8, 2011 Gabrielle Gifford was shot on the left side of her head. She was in a critical condition. Because brain is the most important organ that controls whole of our body. Doctors did a surgery immediately. They removed part of her skull to take off the pressure on her brain. They had to remove also dead tissues of her brain. Doctors were concerned about what will happen to her after she wakes up from coma. Because once your brain got damaged person can be paralyzed or can become physically disable. Left hemisphere of the brain controls right side of the body and speech and language. After she opened her eye she was having trouble with speaking. because damage of her brain was within the pathway from the comprehension portion to the language portion. After that her speech therapist starts to make her do work. He asks her to move her hand and and clasps her hand and this kind of exercises. Therapists were making her work because that is how brain will learns to do stuff. They assist her useless right leg so she can exercise her left and regain her sense of balance. They used music therapy for her speech. Music pathways are located in both side of the hemisphere. She could not speak but she was able to sing. With more practice she was able to communicate. Brain is a very amazing organ it can train itself and make new pathways. Of course after brain got damaged it will not be the same as it use to be even any type of therapies. But it can recover itself. Music therapy is the most common therapy for brain damage.
    I think Gaby is still the same person. Because her personality did not change. Watching this video i think she became more stronger person. Because she had to work so hard to recover from brain damage or in order to start communicate again. However physically she is not the same as she use to be. She is lucky that she wasnt injured very bad because some people after the brain damage can become completely different person.
    Phineas Gage and Henry Molaison are the one that changed completely different. Large iron rod was driven completely through Gage’s head damaging his left frontal lobe. After that his personality changed and his friends said that he is not Gage anymore. He was very hardworking man but after his brain damage he became not responsible. all the time drunk and could not even work for long enough. Brain damage changed his personality. Henry Molaison suffered from intractable epilepsy that has been often due to a bicycle accident at the age of seven. He suffered partial seizures for many year. Later on he was referred to neurosurgeon for treatment. he had a surgery, doctor removed parts on both sides of his brain. He lost approximately two-thirds of his hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, and amygdala. Some of his anterolateral temporal cortex was also destroyed. after the surgery that doctors called successful surgery, he suffered from anterograde amnesia. Also he lost his memory.
    Brain damage can affect to person differently. some people will change, they will not be the same person.
    I dont think Gaby changed after her brain damage. Because she was energetic, friendly and happy to be alive and got recovered from it. Henry and Gage changed completely because i think their brains damage was worse then Gaby’s.
    After reading this information about Gaby, Henry and Gage i think brain is the most powerful organ in our body. Because brain controls us, controls everything in our body. And even if it gets damaged it will try to recover, to become a way it use to be. If brain stops from working even if we are healthy physically person will die. Because if brain dies, our body will shut down.
    Nervous system is one of the complicated system in our body. because it is amazingly created very differently. the pumps, channels, neurons and glia they all very complicated. every one of them has their own work to do. they cant be mixed or they cant be changed. i think nervous system and brain is one of the most important organs and systems in our body. Before i didnt know how our brain and nervous system was so important. But now i know that without it we wouldnt be alive.

  18. In my opinion, after surgery, Gabby wasn’t the same person. I think because of this injury, physically, mentally and emotional she would never be the same as before. There are many different symptoms that will affect her life in the long run. Being able to regain her speech and verbalize her word in a clear manner will take some time. Also, having to go through occupational therapy as well as speech therapy to help adapt and regain daily basic living skills with take so time to rebuild. Being alert and oriented is what makes someone who they are cognitively. Being able to make decisions for themselves on a daily basis is how you determine someone’s cognition. Gabby is able to make simple care decisions for herself once she is able verbalize it. All other major decisions should be made with family being that Gabby may not have the right capacity to make those decisions. However, in my opinion she may have periods of confusion at times.
    I think one can adapt to a new personal identity after surgery. No matter how much therapy, counseling or any of the sort someone receives, that person will never be the same person they were especially after a brain surgery. At times they may be the same person physically but mentally and emotionally they will be different. They will have a change in mood and behavior. This may be caused by trauma, shock, or fear that is now instill in them. Because they would not be the same person they were before. That individual will now have to accept a new life role and adapt to it in order to function on a daily basis. However, it may be difficult for some who has cognitive impairment to adjust to a new setting/lifestyle.
    Now that I’ve learned about Anatomy and Physiology, I do appreciate the parts and functions of the nervous system. I think it is amazing how our body works. What stood out to me is learning the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body. At this point I still find that strange but interesting to know at the same time. Having all these parts in nervous system working together is what creates a cognitive continuum. Each part relies on the other and when one part is damage, it affects the system.
    I find the three stories very interesting. It made me realize how lucky I am. I would be lying if I say I know what they are going through because I don’t. I don’t know what it’s like to get shot in the brain, or having to do a surgery for brain injury, or have to go through a major surgery at all. However, I could only imagine what life is like for them. Having to make that transition and be dependent on others is one of the most difficult tasks I imagine they have to go through. From the beginning of the course to now I was able to gain a lot of knowledge of the body and how it operates; its functions and how they all work together.

  19. Gabby Gifford was an American Politician who was shot in her head in 2011. She was rushed to the hospital, where doctors performed emergency surgery on her brain. Gifford was shot on the left side of her brain which is controlled by speech. Gifford suffered from aphasia, the inability to speak due to damage to the language pathways. It is said that the bullet passed through her head without crossing the midline of the brain, where the most critical injuries result. Part of Gifford’s skull was removed and she was placed in an induced coma to allow her brain to rest.
    She could follow instructions but was not able to speak due to the fact that the left side of the brain commanded her speech. She underwent therapy to enhance her speech. Now, even though her language was impaired and she had difficulties speaking, Doctors and therapists started using songs to allow her to interpret her words, because unlike speech, music is housed in both the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Gifford understood others and what she wanted to say but she just could not get the words to come out.
    I do believe she was the same person. Yes, she went through a lot and she underwent tremendous pain and surgeries, she is still the same person. When watching the video, I can see, she still has the same bubbly personality. I can say the only difference I observed that is different is her physical attributes. She may not be as strong and she was before and she may move at a slower pace, but just like her injury to the brain, everything takes time. Im sure no one thought she would make it this far. But I do believe her thought process and comprehension are still there, it might just take her a little more time to actually express them, physically.
    Phineas Gage and Henry Molaison have very similar cases to Gabby Gifford. Gage was a survivor of an accident in which a large iron rod went through his head destroying much of his frontal lobe which is said to have caused personality and behavioral problems. Henry Molasion was a memory disorder patient whose hippocampus, parahippocamal gyrus, and amygdal was surgically removed to cure his epilepsy. I believe that there are cases where even with the most severe trauma, one can recover but to me, it all depends on where the trauma occurred. There are certain parts of the brain where I feel, if it is impacted, there is very little chance of regaining or becoming the person you once were.
    Both assignments touched me. It is sad and also scary at the same time. No one ever really wants to hear about thing that might affect them. It sort of turns you off. But reading Anne and Bolero and also this assignment, it broaden my knowledge and understanding about our bodies, and our minds. There are so many parts in the brain that if one thing goes wrong, that can change your life forever.
    The brain is such a complex tool/structure. Who could imagine something that size houses so many different function areas. it is sort of scary. You not only have to worry about physical things that can occur, ex: an accident, but also how you exercise your brain and even your diet can play a significant role in the development of your brain. I can say I have such a better and profound understanding of not just our brain but our health and body in general. To be honest, I have never thought that much about our internal makeup in structure. Even in college, we are mandated to take certain courses that we all complain about, saying, “why do we have to take this class? It has nothing to do with our major”. but I now understand. everything we do has an impact in our lives whether we know it then or not. if I did not take this course, I would not have been given the opportunity to learn anything involving anatomy and physiology.

  20. On January 8,2011, Gabby Giffords was shot in the head by a gunman named Jared Lee Loughner. She was immediately tended to by her intern and later rushed to the University Medical Center of Tuscon in critical condition. Giffords was shot just above her left eye, and while the path of the bullet was unknown, Giffords’ doctors said the bullet never crossed from one hemisphere of the brain to the other. Because of the trauma of being shot in her head, there was a lot of swelling. Because of the swelling, doctors had to perform an emergency surgery to remove a part of her skull and a small amount of necrotic tissue from her brain. This helped to relieve stress and pressure on her brain and prevent any further damages. In a follow-up procedure, doctors performed cranioplasty, where the part of the skull removed is replaced with the original bone or a prosthetic. In this case, it was replaced with a plastic replacement, its shape generated by computer to match the shape of the lost bone. Damage was done to the left hemisphere of the brain. Gabby lost the ability to speak but that didn’t stop her from being able to communicate. We are able to learn explicitly and implicitly. Explicit memories are short-term memories such as words, symbols, locations, circumstances etc. Implicit memories include what we can “do”, such as riding a bicycle, reading, writing, dancing, etc. – physical skills that require repetitive practice to learn them. In Giffords’ case, she had to explicitly learn to speak through music. The right hemisphere of the brain is dominant for spatial abilities, face recognition, visual imagery and music. Using this to their advantage, therapists effectively helped Gabby with her speech.
    In my opinion, after suffering that kind of trauma, whether you are the same person afterwards all depends on your personality and your environment. Everyone is different. Some may make the best of life and not let this life changing experience negatively affect them. On the other hand, some may have a pessimistic view on life and allow this experience to control every aspect of their life, allowing them to become depressed or worse. Gabby Giffords proved to have an optimistic outlook on life, like she had before she was shot. This experience may have affected her in a number of ways but it does not change who she was and still is.
    In the case of a stroke, this type of injury to the brain can affect personality. Changes in personality are very common after a stroke. People affected by stroke are usually not the same person as before. Some personality changes might include a self-centered attitude, emotional liability, apathy and depression. They may not be able to adjust easily to anything new and will sometimes become annoyed over the little things. Any individual who goes through any type of brain injury is changed someway somehow, whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.
    After reading about both Phineas Gage and Henry Molaison, my idea on personality does not change. After any serious brain injury, depending on how one is able to cope with it, you are never the same. Phineas’ injury destroyed most of his left frontal lobe which in turn affected his personality and behavior. His friends saw him as “no longer Gage”. Henry Molaison underwent a brain operation to stop his seizures but instead developed amnesia. It is said that his amnesia did not damage his intellect or radically change his personality.
    Now that I have learned about the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system, I appreciate the parts and functions of the nervous system so much more. It is so interesting how every part of our brain helps to controls something in our body. Every aspect of our brain is what makes us who we are; it is our personality. I was very enlightened by a lot of the things learned in anatomy and physiology this semester. It wasn’t just a course taken as a requirement to me because I enjoyed it.
    These stories are heartbreaking misfortunes but the fact that they survived makes it a little less saddening. These stories and also this semester of anatomy and physiology has enlightened and broadened my mind on these subjects. Before this semester, I was unaware of many parts and functions of the body, even after taking Bio 1&2. I am grateful for this course and I am grateful for my well being. I now have a better outlook on life and I now treasure my life more than I did before.

  21. A medically-induced coma is sort of like keeping the body under anesthesia. The most basic functions of the body are still operational, and the body’s energy can focus on maintaining or rebuilding homeostasis. In Gabrielle Gifford’s case, following the injury to her brain, she was placed into a medically-induced coma to allow healing–to prevent her brain from “writing off” the damaged areas of her brain in order to support higher-level functions. After allowing the brain to heal itself without distraction, Gabrielle Giffords was woken and coaxed into learning how to speak again. Music therapy is a long process that works by activating the areas of the brain that control singing (located in both hemispheres) in order to help patients speak following damage to the speech area of the brain (primarily the left hemisphere.) Although patients are unable to access words as words, they can often sing them, or re-learn them through song, when the brain “re-wires” itself to create connections between the meanings of words and formation of the word. Although the area that typically allows us to speak words (such as Broca’s area) is damaged, the sung word may still connect to the thought of the meaning of the word. If so, a patient is able to re-learn how to speak, as Gabrielle Giffords was able to do.
    (sources:, and

    I believe that Gabrielle Giffords has much the same personal identity following her brain injury as she did before her injury. She’s no longer “the same person”, but according to news reports and interviews with her friends and family, she retains her intelligence, personality, hopes and desires much as they were before she was shot. Most of her difficulties seem to be with her verbal expression, and in that respect she is very different. She will no longer be able to continue her work as an elected official, because she lacks the facility with words that are a hallmark of most politicians. She will necessarily have different abilities and a different scope–however personal identity is such a complex thing, that even if certain aspects of cognition are affected, I don’t think that Gabrielle Giffords’ personal identity was fundamentally impacted by her injury. Maybe a better way to put it would be: what she can do has altered, but who she is hasn’t changed all that much. I don’t believe that this holds true for all injuries or disease that affect the brain, however. A stroke will almost certainly have an impact on how someone lives their life–but it may not damage the brain so much so that all sense of personal identity is lost. They don’t have to have the same exact abilities cognitively to retain their personal identity.

    Phineas Gage and H.M. are examples of much more extreme changes due to a brain injury. In the case of Gage, his injury drastically altered his personality and interests. His abilities, basic bodily functions, speaking, walking, and movement abilities appear to have remained unaltered. I would argue, though, that his personal identity was fundamentally altered by his injury. The damage to his frontal lobe seems to have transformed him from a friendly, hard-working fairly neurotypical guy, into a shiftless and angry man who had a hard time managing his finances and planning ahead for the rest of his life. Although the damage to his brain was in a less functionally crucial area of his brain than Giffords, I’d argue that due to the changes in his personality his personal identity was more altered that was hers. H.M. provides an interesting study of how memory connects to self. He was unable to explicitly build his memory following the removal of his hippocampus, but he was able to slowly learn new tasks implicitly. In fact, it was the study of H.M. probably laid the groundwork for the music therapy that helped Giffords. H.M., like Giffords, is reported to have had a similar personality before and after his surgery–in fact, in some respects, he is more the “same person” than either Giffords’ or Gage: because he can’t form new memories and learn from ongoing experience in a self-aware way, his self-identity never changes.

    My opinions on the nervous system haven’t much changed since Assignment 1. I have a much fuller appreciation for the complexities of the nervous system, and I know the names and purposes of many more of the brain’s structures. The cognitive continuum is pretty awesome, especially considering the evolution and adaption of various parts. Most structures are so fine-tuned–they are highly specialized to accomplish extraordinarily specific tasks–and seem to work well in most people, most of the time. In some ways it’s surprising that we don’t have much more cognitive variability in humans than we already do. At the beginning of the semester I didn’t understand how the brain is plastic–learning about the physiology of the brain provides insight into how the brain works under ideal circumstances, and into how it adjusts to injury or disease.

  22. vanessa Charlemagne

    The brain is a delicate and vital organ that governs the center of our life. A proper function of the brain is eminent for the ultimate function of the whole body.
    The physicians reduced the pressure in the skull and by inducing coma. Immediate action was taken in her case in other save her life. A group of physicians and therapists combine music therapy and song in other to reintegrate language and speech. The neurologist studied has proven different area of the brain that are responsive to music and lyrics. Also the study has shown that the right hemisphere of the brain has become responsive to speech and languages. Certain part of the brain retained the memories of the lyrics of some music that she knew. The area of the brain that process music is amazingly has some synapse that transmits information to the right hemisphere.
    However, the case of Phineas Page and Henry Mohaison reflected a different health scenario. Phineas thalamus and hippocampus were removed totally during a surgery procedure in other to relief seizure. These part of the brain that was removed in the essential part of the brain that control body temperature, sensation, thirst and other vital function of the body. It also controls long term memories. The removal of this part of the brain created massive and permanent damage. Phineas’ s brain developed different mechanism to adjust with the damage. For instance, his brain would learn and store information on physical and mechanical.
    On the other hands, Gifford had a greater chance of recovery due the fact that the left hemisphere was the only part that mostly injured. It is a miracle that she survived as it mentioned on the documentary; the major part of the brain remain intact. On the contrary, the surgery that was performed of Phineas brain reduces his ability to a evential recovery. It is unfortunate, that such brain injury with change the course of life. After I look at the video of Gifford, I see a drastic change in her speech and physical movement. She was not fluent and eloquent as she before the incident.
    The brain is an amazing and complex that organ that never seize to amaze me. It a structure and organization allow somehow the continuum of the body function. The cognition is as important as any other part of the brain. It is the part of our body that allow the coordination of our thought, decision and to express our emotion. The cognitive part of the brain helps us to understand, communication, and share our opinion with others. The lost of this important part hinder a part of our life.
    In addition, the video of “Unraveling Bolero” the frontal lobe cortex was affected as well as the area for speech and languages. She was unable to express her thoughts; however she remembered some physical routine such as the motion of holding the paint brush. She would wake up and go to her studio, but she forget the purpose and notion. These are indication that a continuity of the neuron to certain parts of the brain. Also a vivid example of Gifford case showed a connection of music and lyrics can stimulate certain part of the brain.
    The brain is an amazing an complex organ in the body. I am mesmerizing and humble over the power capacity of the brain. The stories reminded to cherish and value health and life it self. It is a blessing being able to express our thought and opinion freely. It

  23. On January 8, 2011 a horrible incident occurred. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head through the left hemisphere of the brain where language is largely held. Luckily she lived but the damages left upon her were unfortunate; she had lost many functions including speech (aphasia). Emergency surgery was performed and a part of the skull was removed to prevent further damage as the brain swells. Giffords was also placed in an induced coma. After a while she became responsive to bodily commands but still, she went through different therapies. She had a tracheotomy and had surgery to her eye socket. In May she went through cranioplasty surgery where plastic was used as a fake skull to cover up the area they removed the skull from initially. In order to relearn how to speak, Gabby had to use neuroplasticity which our bodies are capable of doing with practice in order to pave a new pathway. Music therapy was the solution; since her language and speaking path was closed, music took her a different path to get to the same destination(which is speech). A body could be taught; we see this through the rat experiment where a transected spinal cord did not stop the rat because it was found on time to fix it.
    In my opinion her personality stayed the same after the incident just as it was before it! After doing some research I saw just what a happy, cheerful, positive, intelligent woman she was prior to the shooting. Then I closely examined her after the shooting and saw how her personality had not changed. She stayed strong, survived, and is happily going through therapy. She is determined to succeed in bringing her health back and that is the reason she resigned from office. With a big smile on her face she cheers and practices her words through song. I had looked up some videos on YouTube and came across one of her after the shooting very proudly reciting the pledge of allegiance in public. Cognitively, I’m sure, she had a slight change just as she had a change in other parts of her life, all though from what I see in the readings her memory, judgement, and knowledge stayed intact. Someone who recovers from other types of brain injuries could or could not be the same person. It all depends on the target because different parts of the brain which are affected by injuries do different things. For example, a stroke could leave a person paralyzed, this changes a person; another example is frontal lobotomy which changes a persons personality, emotions, etc.
    Phineas Gage and Henry Molaison had problems occur with them which were similar to Giffords. Gage survived an accident in which a large iron rod went through head destroying much of his frontal lobe. This caused personality and behavioral problems. Henry Molasion had a memory disorder; his hippocampus, parahippocamal gyrus, and amygdal were removed to cure his epilepsy. This made Molasion suffer with some amnesia.
    Looking back at assignment 1, I now realize just how much knowledge, understanding, and appreciation I have gained for the nervous system. Each nerve connects to form a system, a human, a life way beyond comprehension. I did not know the complex making of each neuron and the hard work it’s constantly at. So many little details! So many perfectly timed pumps, receptors etc. The body is so smart that a cognitive continuum is created each time an injury occurs the nervous system begins to reroute itself in order to keep the human going. With a basic understanding of anatomy and physiology I now feel more confident that I know much more about the body. When told a problem I can finally connect it not only to my thoughts but to my knowledge. I never used to think so much is going on inside us. Learning anatomy and physiology this semester has taught me the ins and outs of the body. I feel so much more smarter.

  24. Gabriel Gifford congress woman for Arizona was shot point blank in the head during a shoot out that took the lives of many others. The left side of her skull was shatter and her brain was swollen because of the bullet that entered. She was place in a coma by sedation (an extensive period of unconsciousness from which a patient cannot be arouse no matter what kind of stimuli is present.) she undergo cranial plastic surgery where part of her skull was remove to allow the brain to swell outward instead of swelling inside a closed area which could have cause more damage to the undamaged brain. She was shot in the left frontal lobe of the head which control speech and comprehension her comprehension was not disturbed but she lost the ability to speak. After waking up from her sedation she was able to understand she know what she wanted to say but she could not because the speech center was damage, she suffer from aphasia. She started speech therapy but after the long suffering and no improvement she was then introduce to singing by the therapist, she was able to sing because singing has no designated center or location in the brain, music has access to every part of the brain (powerful stimuli). Through singing she was able to speak properly and go back to her daily living.
    Many people have suffered brain damage and lost the ability to function or regain hundred percent uses of their brains; just a few were lucky such as Jamie Elton and gabby Gifford who were given a second chance. in gabby’s case even though she suffer from aphasia it didn’t change the person who she is deep down inside she was a fighter and lover of life, at time when the word could not come out she persisted she didn’t give up, her spouse help to she another side of her when he ask her to smile even though she was not in the position to smile she did. People who suffer from severe trauma to the brain or suffer a stroke it is not guaranteed that they will change, the human brain is so complex and flexible at time they can become the person they were before or they might not return to pre-trauma.
    The continuum cognition say that people can change and adopt depends on the judgment they are facing while personal identity say that the person is the same old person never change. I do believe people can change base upon what they been through, if a person find something to be inadequate in an area of their life they will try to improve it by adapting to something else. If a person become blind their sense of hearing become sharper the is how I find gage and HM to be they penetrate their energy somewhere else. After HM surgery his friends say that he was no longer the same person he was unable to remember thing that happen close or after his brain surgery, the same was said about phineas gage after his accident. In gage’s case I can understand why he would no long be the same because of the iron pole that went trough his head and took away parts of his brain, it like having a circuit breaker where the main wires are cut and sparks are flying everywhere the right wires are there but not connected to the right lobes. He was a high functioning person who is use to his independence; to be limited because of an injury that he had no control over I can just image the confusion that goes on in his head causing him to behave the way he does. From my understand of how the human brain work every screws and bolt have to be in place in order for a person’s mind to be in tact and fire the way it was intended to . If the sodium and calcium pumps get block or cut off the It can no longer supply the area that it use and cause a malfunction. The same is said for the brain, even though the brain have plasticity not everything can be repair and function on its own.
    Reading these stories teaches me to appreciate my life more and have more respect for the human body and its complexity. I didn’t know that a person could survive after a bullet was place inside the brain or a pole entering and exiting the brain that is the beauty of the human body along with the help of technology it able to redo/ rebooth it self and keep us going. We are obligated to take care of our bodies and in return it will serve us well.

  25. On November 14th, 2011, ABC Night line provided viewers with an exclusive interview from Arizona Congress woman Gabby Giffords. This interview marked the ten-month anniversary and nine month transformation from an horrific tragedy which left her speech impaired.
    On January 8th, 2011, Giffords suffered a gun shot wound to the head by a gunman who was believed tot have planned an assassination attempt on her. Giffords injuries left her in critical condition and she also suffered from aphasia (A disturbance in formulation and comprehension of language (Wikipedia, 1). After some intense research on Gabby Giffords story , I learned that Gifffords suffered injuries which effected her speech. This injury is critical because the left hemisphere of the brain controls speech and processes information logically. This part of the brain also helps in understanding, language, listening and controls the memory for spoken and written message (kidport,1).
    While keeping this information in mind and continuing the ABC interview, I was able to distinguish between the functions of the left and right hemispheres of the brain and how music help physicians remediate the damage induced to Giffords brain. In the ABC interview Dr. Oliver sacks, A Neurology and Psychiatry professor at Columbia University states that “Nothing activates the brain so extensively as music” he also stated that it is possible to create a new language area in the uninjured right hemisphere.
    On January 21, Giffords began rehab for her injuries at TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital where physicians used music to test and improve her memory. Giffords doctors began each session with a song called ” Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”. Because music is stored in the right hemisphere of the brain, Doctors was able to use this to trigger the language skills on that side of the brain. As Giffords continued therapy, her brain was rewiring and soon would develop her speech again.
    I believe that while Giffords retained her speech ability she is not the same person. A brain injury so severe as her traumatizing the left side of her brain can cause life-long injuries and damage. A brain injury is categorized as a chronic disease which means that even though she is developing her speech patterns, her brain injuries could later cause health problems such as Neurological disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia and many more diseases. Also, A person with profound cognitive disabilities will need assistance with nearly every aspect of daily living. Someone with a minor learning disability may be able to function adequately despite the disability, perhaps even to the extent that the disability is never discovered or diagnosed and in the case of Giffords she needed a lot of help and assistance with speech(WEBAIM). These injuries are due to the affects that brain injuries have on every system in the body.
    Upon reading the article on Phineas Gage , an American railroad construction foramen who survived an incident where a large rod was driven completely through his head, damaging much of his left frontal lobe i discovered more facts. Post injury, Gage’s friends described Gage’s behavior as “abnormal” and his case suggested that damage to specific parts of the brain might affect personality. Gage’s story supports my opinion that after a brain injury the person is no longer the same even after recovery.
    Gifford’s husband described her personality as pleasant with a optimistic view on life. because of the brain damage and damage to the pathways will have an impact on the way she thinks and acts.
    Analyzing Giffords, Gage’s and Hm stories made me understand how essential the functions of the brain are. I am aware that the brain helps us think but i never knew destroying just one part or injuring just a part of an hemisphere can alter everything about you and how you once were before the injuries. Along with their stories and the vital information taught during class i am able to understand how complicated the body really is and how there is so much more to the human body then what we can see with the naked eye. I am looking forward to A&P 2

  26. On the same day of the incident Mrs. Giffords was evacuated to the University Medical Center of Tucson in critical condition even though she was conscious and able to follow simple commands. Doctors performed emergency brain surgery to extract skull fragments and a small amount of necrotic tissue from her brain. Part of her skull was removed to avoid further damage to the brain from pressure caused by swelling. She was initially in an induced coma to allow her brain to rest. She was able to respond to simple commands, but unable to speak. As her status improved, she began simple physical therapy. Eventually they performed a tracheotomy, removing her from the ventilator to assist her to breath independently. She also underwent surgery to repair a damaged eye socket. Doctors lifted her status to good, at that time Gabby was transferred to a rehabilitation center where she will undergo the challenges of physical, occupational and speech therapy. On May 18th, 4 months after part of her skull was removed doctors performed a crainoplasty to replace the parts that was taken out. As Gabby began her journey to recovery her speech therapist decided to use music. Mrs. Giffords suffered from aphasia and studies have shown that music can stimulate other parts of the brain that were not functional. During the sessions you can see that Gabby became frustrated at times because she knew the words but just had a hard time getting it out, but because she is a very dedicated individual she was persistant and determined. With her husband and family at her side she eventually regained her speech.

    After having read all the articles on Mrs. Giffords, were they describe how optimistic , always with a smile, setting goals and fighting to make sure they are accomplished, I believe she is the same person after the accident. The brain injury may have altered her physical appearence, but inside all her good qualities remain.

    In 1848 at the age of 25, Phineas Gage got injured from a piece of iron which penetrated his left cheek, ripped into his brain and exited through his skull. At that time he did not loose consciousness, a few months later after the accident his friends and family realise that his personality had changed. The balance between intellectual faculties and animal propensites were gone. He became verbally inappropriate and lost his job at the rail road. Unlike Henry Molaison who was suffering from epilepsy, had his hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus and amygdala surgicaly removed in order to cure his epilepsy. Over the years he became a man of great interest and was studied by neurologist because his epilepsy were cured but suffered from severe anterograde amnesia.

    After doing the research on all three individuals I have developed a better understanding of the nervous system. The brain as we know it is a very dynamic structure all the parts are connected creating a contiuum which
    allows use to do different things at a time . Each individual had some damage to their brain but all with different outcomes.

    Assignment 1 was a very sad story, made you wonder why the brain work the way it did but after going into details with the parts of the brain I have gained some knowlege, at least when certain names of brain injuries or diseases are being talked about in the media I will be able to relate.

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