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Hand movement observation by individuals born without hands: phantom limb experience constrains visual limb perception


Funk, Marion; Shiffrar, Maggie; Brugger, Peter (2005). Hand movement observation by individuals born without hands: phantom limb experience constrains visual limb perception. Experimental Brain Research, 164(3):341-346.

Abstract

Increasing evidence suggests that the visual analysis of other people's actions depends upon the observer's own body representation or schema. This raises the question of how differences in observers' body structure and schema impact their perception of human movement. We investigated the visual experiences of two persons born without arms, one with and the other without phantom sensations. These participants, plus six normally-limbed control observers, viewed depictions of upper limb movement under conditions of apparent motion. Consistent with previous results (Shiffrar M, Freyd JJ (1990) Psychol Sci 1:257), normally-limbed observers perceived rate-dependent paths of apparent human movement. Specifically, biologically impossible motion trajectories were reported at rapid display rates while biologically possible trajectories were reported at slow display rates. The aplasic individual with phantom experiences showed the same perceptual pattern as control participants, while the aplasic individual without phantom sensations did not. These preliminary results suggest that phantom experiences may constrain the visual analysis of the human body. These results further suggest that it may be time to move beyond the question of whether aplasic phantoms exist and instead focus on the question of why some people with limb aplasia experience phantom sensations while others do not. In this light, the current results suggest that somesthetic representations are not sufficient to define body schema. Instead, neural systems matching action observation, action execution and motor imagery likely contribute to the definition of body schema in profound ways. Additional research with aplasic individuals, having and lacking phantom sensations, is needed to resolve this issue

Abstract

Increasing evidence suggests that the visual analysis of other people's actions depends upon the observer's own body representation or schema. This raises the question of how differences in observers' body structure and schema impact their perception of human movement. We investigated the visual experiences of two persons born without arms, one with and the other without phantom sensations. These participants, plus six normally-limbed control observers, viewed depictions of upper limb movement under conditions of apparent motion. Consistent with previous results (Shiffrar M, Freyd JJ (1990) Psychol Sci 1:257), normally-limbed observers perceived rate-dependent paths of apparent human movement. Specifically, biologically impossible motion trajectories were reported at rapid display rates while biologically possible trajectories were reported at slow display rates. The aplasic individual with phantom experiences showed the same perceptual pattern as control participants, while the aplasic individual without phantom sensations did not. These preliminary results suggest that phantom experiences may constrain the visual analysis of the human body. These results further suggest that it may be time to move beyond the question of whether aplasic phantoms exist and instead focus on the question of why some people with limb aplasia experience phantom sensations while others do not. In this light, the current results suggest that somesthetic representations are not sufficient to define body schema. Instead, neural systems matching action observation, action execution and motor imagery likely contribute to the definition of body schema in profound ways. Additional research with aplasic individuals, having and lacking phantom sensations, is needed to resolve this issue

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > General Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:1 July 2005
Deposited On:24 Oct 2018 10:02
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 02:39
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0014-4819
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-005-2255-4
Related URLs:https://www.swissbib.ch/Search/Results?lookfor=nationallicencespringer101007s0022100522554 (Library Catalogue)

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