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Cogn Neuropsychiatry. 2002 Aug;7(3):251-69.

Phantom limbs: The body in mind.

Author information

1
School of Psychology, Cardiff University, UK. HALLIGANPW@cardiff.ac.uk

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Advances in our knowledge of corporeal awareness is not limited to patients with amputations, however, until recently, the study of ''phantom limbs'' was neglected by comparison with less common disorders of body perception.

METHOD:

Reasons for the neglect of this potentially informative and common condition are conspicuous by their absence in previous reviews. Over the past decade, however, experimental investigations of phantom limbs have revealed the dynamic neural processes that provide for both phantom and normal corporeal embodiment. Moreover, these findings helped to overturn widely held scientific assumptions regarding the extent of neural plasticity in the adult brain.

RESULTS:

It is suggested that throughout medical history, the construct of ''phantom limbs'' posed a challenge to fundamental folk assumptions regarding the assumed relationship between body and mind.

CONCLUSION:

Reluctance to entertain the counter-intuitive phenomenon of a ''limbless perception'' contributed to the comparative neglect of this fascinating phenomenon until the late 20th century.

PMID:
16571541
DOI:
10.1080/13546800244000111

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