VR simulated limbs trick brain into fixing real phantom limb

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It’s not clear exactly how this works – survey says “the brain is being tricked” – but amputees who suffer phantom limb pain can find relief through virtual bodies. A woman with amputated fingers who felt them digging painfully into her palm felt significantly less pain after just one session where she ‘saw’ herself having a whole hand to manipulate. Over a three month period, four of the five participants in the study (small sample, yes, but pain’s tricky, and all results are worth examining) found significant relief in fairly short order. A larger study is now being planned to narrow down the best applications on the findings to date. [GT]

3D system ‘moves’ phantom limbs

Gabrielle Taylor