The Consequences of Lobotomy


Lobotomy is the traditional brain surgical procedure that was used to treat those with severe mental illness. The process involved drilling through the frontal lobe of the brain using an orbitoclast, an instrument similar to the ice pick (Banich, 2011). The aim of the process was to cause disconnections in the prefrontal and the frontal cortex of the brain to make the patients to become almost emotionless. The frontal part of the brain normally supports the goal directed behavior (Banich, 2011). The frontal lobe of the cerebral system is the part that is responsible for higher levels of decision making processes as well as recognizing the consequences of diverse actions. These processes are called the executive functions. Given that it is placed before the brow, the frontal-lobe is constantly predisposed to harm.

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Injuries to the frontal lobe often decrease the individual ability to make good decisions as well as recognizing their consequences (Lux, 2007). In addition the damage to the frontal lobe impairs the individual memory. The relentless upshot of the frontal lobe injure is the augmented petulance which might incorporate the incapacity to normalize conduct and direct the sensations (Lux, 2007). Above all, the smash up to the prefrontal as well as frontal cortex of the brainy arrangement leads to the discrepancy of the executive functions that consist of target selection, instigation, scheduling, involvement, self-correction or initiating the new-fangled reactions, monitoring, identification of faults as well as sequencing (Banich, 2011).


Lobotomy is similar to the damage of the frontal lobe and its consequences to the executive function are similar to the consequences of damaging the frontal lobe. In fact the most famous case of the prefrontal cortex damage and the subsequent executive function impairment is that of Phineas Gage (Ratiu et al., 2004). The railroad worker, whose frontal lobe or part of the brain was severed by the rail spike in 1800s. The prefrontal cortex of the brain is connected to other essential parts of the brain. Injuries to the frontal cortex can still live other sensory parts functioning however their executive functions are severely impaired (Banich, 2011). This is exactly what happened to Gage who lived a normal life after the accident though its emotions was gradually lost.