Can Brain Injury Change Our Character?

Who we are and what we do is a topic that has been discussed throughout history. Personality level character; it consists of qualities such as gentleness, warmth and selfishness. More specifically; it also relates to how we respond to the world around us and how to direct our emotions.
Throughout history, character traits and experiences were considered separate from the brain and physical parts. In this case, it was assumed that the personality of the person would not be affected even if the brain was damaged. However, this assumption was discussed with the Phineas Gage case.

In 1848, 25-year-old Phineas Gage began working as a construction worker in a railway company. During his work, explosions were required to remove the rocks. This procedure was about an explosive dust and an iron rod. With a one-second distraction, the powder exploded and the rod entered his left chin. The skull was pierced, the bar passed through the front brain, and he climbed out of his head at high speed. Today's modern methods have revealed that the affected area is the prefrontal cortex.



Gage lay on the floor, dazed, but conscious. His body finally recovered, but Gage's behavior was unusual. He was a good-natured, respectful and intelligent employee before the accident, but was irresponsible, rude and aggressive after the accident. He was indifferent and could not make good decisions.
A similar situation was seen in the photographer Eadweard Muybridge. In 1860, Muybridge had a car accident and damage to the orbitofrontal cortex (part of the prefrontal cortex). After the accident, he was seen to be emotionally unstable and aggressive.

The common point in all these cases is the damage of the orbitofrontal cortex, especially in the prefrontal cortex. When the cases were evaluated, the prefrontal cortex; it turned out to play a role in controlling behaviors, directing emotions and responding appropriately.
The part where instincts are carried out is the brainstem located just above the spinal cord. After defining the function of the brainstem, the function of the prefrontal cortex was exposed as the part where these instincts were controlled. However, it is not yet known how the prefontal cortex provides control over the brain stem.

A research group from EMBL found a clear physical connection between the prefrontal cortex and brainstem. This connection prevented instinctive behavior. In the experiment conducted on mice, mice were found to feel more fear when this link was broken. These findings show how anatomically we can restrain our aggressive behavior. But this connection does not affect the region of the hypothalamus that controls our feelings and emotions. As a result, the preforntal cortex allows us to control our behavior, but it has no effect on how we feel. This study also helps to clarify the cause of diseases such as depression and schizophrenia, which are related to the function and maturation of the prefrontal cortex.
In humans, the prefrontal cortex begins to mature when the adolescence begins. This explains why children cannot fully control their instincts. Scientists continue to research how exactly this repression occurs and its impact on mental illness.

Difficulties in managing emotions lead to stress in the affected person as well as negative social changes. Many survivors of brain damage suffer from depression, anxiety, and social isolation, and have difficulty balancing their post-traumatic life. In order to cope with this problem in recent years, group therapies are applied to patients.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

-Poxox Pinterest-