Psych 111 Chapter 6 and Ghostly Limbs Notes

Breasts teeth genitals or even internal organs

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breasts, teeth, genitals, or even internal organs amputees with phantom limb syndrome are much less likely to get prosthetic limbs--- the pain is debilitating o Blaming the Brain Patrick Wall--- Placed blame for phantom limb phenomenon on the severed nerve fibers in the scarred region of the amputee’s stump o LATER PROVED WRONG AFTER DOCTORS CUT SENSORY NERVES LEADING TO SPINAL CORD Ronald Melzack--- Thought that false body parts arise at leas in part from neural activity within the brain o In his view, the brain not only detects sensory signals from the body but also generates its own neural pattern, or neural signature, that represents the body in its intact state Persists even after the removal of a body part, which creates the perception that the part is still present and attached to the body
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o Orchestrating such a neural signature falls to a network of neurons he called the “neuromatrix” The brain’s somatosensory cortex contains a map of various body regions; it receives tactile information from the body via a sensory pathway that traverses the thalamus; another neural channel transmits information from the body to the limbic system, which governs emotions such as those associated with phantom limbs ****IMPORTANT Damage to part of this neuromatrix can result in loss of ownership of part or all of one’s body o Modifying the Matrix The basic structure of our neuromatrix may be present at birth (according to Malzack)… explains why phantom arms or legs often appear in children born without these body parts (according to Malzack) Malzack found that 1/5 of all babies born without a limb had ghost limbs o Ghost Busters Ramachandran and his wife--- (1996) Created a possible treatment for phantom limb syndrome o Remove the top of a cardboard box and inserted a vertical mirror 10 people without an arm inserted their intact arm into the front of the box so that the arm’s reflection in the mirror overlay the perceived location of the phantom limb; created visual illusion that phantom arm had been resurrected 6 of the patients said they could feel as well as see their phantom arm moving 4 of the patients used this newfound ability to relax and open a clenched phantom hand, which would provide relief from painful spasms researchers are now trying to better phantom limb pain with 3D computer simulations (virtual reality) that will produce images similar to those created by the mirror
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  • Fall '07
  • Dr.TerrenceDeak
  • Psychology, Phantom limb, phantom limb syndrome

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