psycology article missing limbs

psycology article missing limbs - Missing Limbs Still...

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Missing Limbs, Still Atingle, Are Clues to Changes In the Brain BLAKESLEE, SANDRA . New York Times . (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Nov 10, 1992 . pg. C.1
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Abstract (Summary) Until recently, scientists believed that nerve cells in the brain died if the body part they were connected to was lost. And they thought that sensations in "phantom" limbs resulted from stimulation of nerves near the missing limb's stump. Now, however, it seems that the brain does not have fixed circuits. Rather, in ways that are still unknown the adult brain appears to be capable of reorganizing and rewiring itself over incredibly large distances -- so that brain cells receiving inputs from the face and shoulder can trigger brain cells no longer receiving inputs from an arm. Finally, this new view of the adult brain "provides fundamental insights into learning and memory," said Dr. Vernon Mountcastle, a prominent neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins University. "Most brains never reach their full potential," he said. "Perhaps we don't train them correctly. We might learn to accentuate certain circuits and de- emphasize others" and thus improve education. They were soon proved wrong. A few years ago, Dr. Tim Pons, a senior scientist at the National Institute of Mental Health's neuropsychology laboratory examined monkeys whose arms had been paralyzed 12 years earlier by cutting nerve connections to the brain. Brain tissue that would be expected to map the arm was not only alive, Dr. Pons said, but it responded to the face. "We were shocked," he said. "There was a huge filling in." » Jump to indexing (document details) Full Text (2010 words) Copyright New York Times Company Nov 10, 1992 ONE month after losing his left arm in a car accident, Victor Quintero sat with his eyes closed in a brain- research laboratory as a scientist poked his cheek with a cotton swab. "Where do you feel that?" asked Dr. Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, a neuropsychologist at the University of California in San Diego. "On my left cheek and on the back of my missing hand," said the 17-year-old high school student. Dr. Ramachandran touched a spot under Mr. Quintero's left nostril. "And where do you feel that?" "On my left pinky. It tingles." Eventually Dr. Ramachandran found points all over the young man's left face and jaw that evoked sensations in his amputated hand and arm. When the scientist stroked the cotton swab on the right side of Mr. Quintero's face and body, the young man felt nothing in the phantom limb. But when he brushed Mr. Quinterro's left shoulder just above the stump, the young man again felt discrete points on his missing hand and lower arm. Finally, Dr. Ramachandran dribbled warm water down Mr. Quintero's left cheek. Both were amazed. "I feel it running down my arm," said Mr. Quinterro, blinking his eyes to check that the limb was still gone. This curious experiment sheds light on an emerging feature of the adult brain that is revolutionizing the way
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This note was uploaded on 05/09/2008 for the course PSY 0010 taught by Professor Joshuafetterman during the Fall '08 term at Pittsburgh.

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psycology article missing limbs - Missing Limbs Still...

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