As an ultra-endurance athlete, I spent decades mastering the ability to problem-solve during long distance races in ways that kept my cerebral mind in an optimistic state by learning how to self-regulate my emotions while navigating my way to the finish line.
Like every athlete, I also needed to learn the rules of the game and understand sportsmanlike conduct through "cues, actions, and outcomes" necessary to guide one's actions in the pursuit of an athletic goal.
Before his brain injuries, Gage was known to be a congenial and polite man who lived by the rules of society.
After his accident, Gage became an uninhibited, and often temperamental, nonconformist who paid little regard to the rules of society.
The films show dramatic resculpting in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) region of the frontal lobes within the cerebrum.
The March 2016 study, “Rule Learning Enhances Structural Plasticity of Long Range Axons in Frontal Cortex,” was published in the journal .
One of the most famous historic cases in neuroscience involves Phineas Gage and his OFC.
Gage was an American railroad construction foreman who lived through an accident in which an iron rod pierced directly through his frontal lobes.
Visual evidence has been lacking for the more complex, cognitive, strategy-based trial-and-error learning that helps us grow each day at school and at work.
These data push us towards greater recognition of how multiple dimensions of learning, particularly active learning, may be sculpting our brains.