While reading a paper on the neuroscience of dreaming I came across a reference to a 1940 paper by Donald Hebb and Wilder Penfield. It’s a neurosurgery case study that is quite stunning. It shows that in some cases, removal of prefrontal brain tissue can actually cause improvements in intelligence and personality. So basically it’s the opposite of the Phineas Gage story.
Here are some excerpts from the paper:
Check out how much was removed!
Hebb, Donald O., and Wilder Penfield. “Human behavior after extensive bilateral removal from the frontal lobes.” Archives of Neurology & Psychiatry 44, no. 2 (1940): 421-438. [link]