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Incarnation and animation: physical versus representational deficits of body integrity


Hilti, L; Brugger, P (2010). Incarnation and animation: physical versus representational deficits of body integrity. Experimental Brain Research, 204(3):315-326.

Abstract

Two apparently disparate phenomena of defective body integrity are reviewed. The first concerns dysmelia, characterized by the congenital absence or deformation of limbs, and the focus of the review is on phantom sensations of people with this kind of physical integrity disorder. The second phenomenon consists of non-psychotic individuals' desire to have a healthy limb amputated, which is interpreted as a mismatch between the physical integrity of a particular limb and its representation in multimodal cortical areas of the brain. We outlined commonalities and differences between the two conditions and note the absence, in both areas of research, of a unified theory that would account for the reported phenomenology. Phantom limbs in dysmelia and the desire for limb amputation most likely are the consequence of very early developmental dissociations between physical and phenomenal body shapes. They are mirror images of one another in that the former constitutes an "animation without incarnation" and, the latter, an "incarnation without animation".

Abstract

Two apparently disparate phenomena of defective body integrity are reviewed. The first concerns dysmelia, characterized by the congenital absence or deformation of limbs, and the focus of the review is on phantom sensations of people with this kind of physical integrity disorder. The second phenomenon consists of non-psychotic individuals' desire to have a healthy limb amputated, which is interpreted as a mismatch between the physical integrity of a particular limb and its representation in multimodal cortical areas of the brain. We outlined commonalities and differences between the two conditions and note the absence, in both areas of research, of a unified theory that would account for the reported phenomenology. Phantom limbs in dysmelia and the desire for limb amputation most likely are the consequence of very early developmental dissociations between physical and phenomenal body shapes. They are mirror images of one another in that the former constitutes an "animation without incarnation" and, the latter, an "incarnation without animation".

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:July 2010
Deposited On:15 Dec 2009 13:45
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:36
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0014-4819
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-009-2043-7
PubMed ID:19856177

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