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Trends Neurosci. 1990 Mar;13(3):88-92.

Phantom limbs and the concept of a neuromatrix.

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Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


The phenomenon of a phantom limb is a common experience after a limb has been amputated or its sensory roots have been destroyed. A complete break of the spinal cord also often leads to a phantom body below the level of the break. Furthermore, a phantom of the breast, the penis, or of other innervated body parts is reported after surgical removal of the structure. A substantial number of children who are born without a limb feel a phantom of the missing part, suggesting that the neural network, or 'neuromatrix', that subserves body sensation has a genetically determined substrate that is modified by sensory experience.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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