Phantom Limb

Healthy, wide awake, and sober, we rarely ever see things, hear voices, or smell odors without a corresponding stimulus. Quite different is the situation after the loss of a limb. Amputees almost invariably continue to feel their lost body parts, sometimes with compelling vividness, in some cases paired with the sensation of mild to excruciating pain. The sensation of a limb that is not physically present is referred to as phantom limb. Phantom limbs can teach us very basic lessons about the projective nature of perception. They illustrate the fact that the perception of our own body differs in important ways from the perception of any other object in the outside world. Current research interests in postamputation phantom limbs focus on the functional and ...

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