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The phantom limb in dreams


Brugger, P (2008). The phantom limb in dreams. Consciousness and Cognition, 17(4):1272-1278; discussion 1279.

Abstract

Mulder and colleagues [Mulder, T., Hochstenbach, J., Dijkstra, P. U., Geertzen, J. H. B. (2008). Born to adapt, but not in your dreams. Consciousness and Cognition, 17, 1266-1271.] report that a majority of amputees continue to experience a normally-limbed body during their night dreams. They interprete this observation as a failure of the body schema to adapt to the new body shape. The present note does not question this interpretation, but points to the already existing literature on the phenomenology of the phantom limb in dreams. A summary of published investigations is complemented by a note on phantom phenomena in the dreams of paraplegic patients and persons born without a limb. Integration of the available data allows the recommendation for prospective studies to consider dream content in more detail. For instance, "adaptation" to the loss of a limb can also manifest itself by seeing oneself surrounded by amputees. Such projective types of anosognosia ("transitivism") in nocturnal dreams should also be experimentally induced in normally-limbed individuals, and some relevant techniques are mentioned.

Abstract

Mulder and colleagues [Mulder, T., Hochstenbach, J., Dijkstra, P. U., Geertzen, J. H. B. (2008). Born to adapt, but not in your dreams. Consciousness and Cognition, 17, 1266-1271.] report that a majority of amputees continue to experience a normally-limbed body during their night dreams. They interprete this observation as a failure of the body schema to adapt to the new body shape. The present note does not question this interpretation, but points to the already existing literature on the phenomenology of the phantom limb in dreams. A summary of published investigations is complemented by a note on phantom phenomena in the dreams of paraplegic patients and persons born without a limb. Integration of the available data allows the recommendation for prospective studies to consider dream content in more detail. For instance, "adaptation" to the loss of a limb can also manifest itself by seeing oneself surrounded by amputees. Such projective types of anosognosia ("transitivism") in nocturnal dreams should also be experimentally induced in normally-limbed individuals, and some relevant techniques are mentioned.

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11 citations in Web of Science®
17 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:22 Dec 2008 14:39
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:45
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1053-8100
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2008.01.005
PubMed ID:18313942

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