Navigation Links
Non-Amputees Can Experience the Illusion of a 'Phantom' Limb
Date:4/11/2013

THURSDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Amputees commonly experience the sensation that their missing limb is still there, and now a new study finds that the illusion of having a "phantom limb" can be evoked in those who did not have an amputation.

Researchers in Sweden said they hope their findings offer insight for more research on phantom limb pain in amputees.

"Taken together, our results show that the sight of a physical hand is remarkably unimportant to the brain for creating the experience of one's physical self," study lead author, Arvid Guterstam of the Karolinska Institute, said in an institute news release.

The study involved 234 participants who sat at a table with their right arm hidden behind a screen. To trigger the illusion of a phantom hand, the researchers touched the participants' right hand with a small paintbrush while mimicking the same motion with another paintbrush in the air in plain sight.

"We discovered that most participants, within less than a minute, transfer the sensation of touch to the region of empty space where they see the paintbrush move, and experience an invisible hand in that position," Guterstam noted. "Previous research has shown that non-bodily objects, such as a block of wood, cannot be experienced as one's own hand, so we were extremely surprised to find that the brain can accept an invisible hand as part of the body."

The researchers confirmed the phantom limb illusion worked by making a stabbing motion with a knife towards the place where the participants' phantom limb would have been. As their phantom limb was stabbed, the participants' sweat response was measured.

The study revealed the participants' stress level was higher while experiencing the phantom limb illusion. The study authors noted this stress response was nonexistent when the illusion was broken.

In a separate experiment, when asked to close their eyes and point to their right and left hand, participants who experienced the phantom limb illusion pointed to their invisible hand instead of their real hand.

The participants also underwent an MRI to assess their brain activity. The illusion of a phantom limb was associated with increased activity in the parts of the brain that are typically active when people see their real hand being touched or when a prosthetic hand is viewed as real, according to the report published in the current issue of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

"This illusion suggests that the experience of phantom limbs is not unique to amputated individuals, but can easily be created in non-amputees," concluded the study's principal investigator, Dr. Henrik Ehrsson, docent at the department of neuroscience. "These results add to our understanding of how phantom sensations are produced by the brain, which can contribute to future research on alleviating phantom pain in amputees," he said in the news release.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about phantom limb pain.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Karolinska Institute, news release, April 11, 2013


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists create phantom sensations in non-amputees
2. Are women with a history of violent experiences more likely to have risky sex?
3. Higher hospital volume more important than surgeon experience in outcome of prostate cancer surgery
4. Introducing Screenplay: An interactive childrens waiting room experience
5. Specialized care by experienced teams cuts death and disability from bleeding brain aneurysms
6. Surgeon experience affects complication rate of spinal stenosis surgery
7. Patient Experience Regional Roundtables Announced by The Beryl Institute
8. Parkinsons Patients Experience Declines Years Before Diagnosis
9. What Makes the End-of-Life Experience Peaceful?
10. Women with diabetes more likely to experience sexual dissatisfaction
11. Source of conflict: Study finds factors that can shape divorced mothers co-parenting experiences
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Non-Amputees Can Experience the Illusion of a 'Phantom' Limb
(Date:1/17/2017)... , ... January 17, 2017 , ... Neil H. Greco ... planning assistance to communities throughout the region, is launching a charity drive to raise ... is by far the deadliest killer in America, and is responsible for 1 in ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... ... SC&H Group, a leading audit, tax, and consulting firm, announced that Chris Rossi ... . Rossi is the third technology consulting leader to join SC&H Group’s IT Advisory ... practice continues to expand.     , Bringing more than 25 years of business consulting and ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... Seceon ... cyber threats in real-time, today announced a strategic partnership with TechLab Security, ... Joining other Seceon partners, TechLab Security has become a strategic partner and a ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... offices in Tyler, has announced the latest beneficiary of their thriving community involvement ... nonprofit organization dedicated to fulfilling the dreams of terminally ill patients. Donations to ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... ... Many people make New Year’s resolutions or renew their commitment to better health with the ... people who want to kick off 2017 with better smiles. Dr. Mondavi is offering several ... offers include: , , A new patient package for just $49, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... ® Technologies, Inc. announces that the Journal ... of Vibration on Molar Distalization," a study that focused ... Bowman , this prospective, peer-reviewed clinical study concluded that ... speeds up molar distalization rates in the apex ... to move the upper molars into a normal, Class ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... , Jan. 17, 2017 Following an ... today praised the Food and Drug Administration,s (FDA,s) ... Human Drug Products by Pharmacies and Outsourcing Facilities." ... proposed limitation on pre-packaging -- which would have ... costs to long term care (LTC) pharmacies.  ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... DUBLIN , Jan 17, 2017 Research ... Ingredients/API Market by Type (Innovative, Generic), Manufacturer (Captive, Merchant), Synthesis (Synthetic, ... CVD) - Global Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... The global ... by 2021 from USD 157.95 Billion in 2016, growing at a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: