Phantom Limb Research Paper

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Phantom limbs and pain.
Now I will turn to the “dark side of neuroplasticity”. Phantom limb is a persistent feeling that an amputated or missing limb is still a part of one’s body. It can go away or reappear, people can experience painful, twitching or itching sensations in the phantom limb that they are unable to stop. Scientists believe this to be due to the fact that there is still leftover representation of the amputated organ in the brain. So even though the limb is no longer attached to the body, part of the somatosensory cortex responsible for it still exists, projecting the sensation of the limb past the new body boundaries.
Most of the amputees also experience chronic pain in the limb that seems to be unaffected by painkillers. The sensation is usually that of fingers or toes cramping up or being curled unnaturally. The research on the topic is ongoing and several different theories
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A group of scientist conducted research on children aged between 2 and 9 months. Researchers showed pictures to infants: the backgrounds were in different colours (red, green, blue and yellow) and had either circles or triangles drawn on in black. If babies did not have synaesthesia, they would observe all the pictures for the same amount of time, regardless of shapes drawn. However, if they saw shapes in specific colour, i.e. one of them always saw circles in green, then that infant would look at a picture of circles on a green background longer, than on a background of any other colour. Observations confirmed the theory. The hypothesis behind the experiment states that everyone is born a synaesthete, but due to changes in the brain cortex as we age, synaptic connections responsible for synaesthesia fall apart. If this is true, it is yet another proof of the immense changes that take place in the brain during our

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