Hoarder brains

The brains of hoarders show differences in their cingulate cortex and insulas from those of non-hoarders and OCD sufferers, and brain injuries seem to be able to trigger hoarding behaviour. In 1848, an explosion drove a tamping rod through the brain of Phineas Gage, a railway worker in Vermont. He survived the accident, but was said by his doctor to have developed ‘a great fondness for pets and souvenirs’ that was ‘only exceeded by his attachment to his tamping iron, which was his constant companion during the remainder of his life’.