The “Phantom Limb”
Since 1996 “phantom limbs” and the unrelenting pain that it causes has troubled many individuals with little or no help at all. That was the case until Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran took interest in “phantom limbs” and exploring the complex mind. Through his many efforts, studies, and deliberately seeking volunteers, Ramachandran has created research and a documentary that has revolutionized neuroscience. Two questions come about though: what is a “phantom limb” and where does the term come from? Ramachandran’s research reveals what the “phantom limb” is and what effects “phantom limbs” have on individuals. Through his documentary, Ramachandran’s research comes to light with complex challenges for real people that demonstrate the problems these people face daily in their lives. Since “Phantom limbs” challenge not only the physical nature of the body, but also the mentality of the person and being able to control something that is missing, but that is not how the story ends.
“Phantom limbs” are caused by a sensation experienced by someone who has a limb amputated, but feels that the limb is still there. “Phantom limbs” are not only created by the amputation of a limb, but also through the brain compensating for the missing extremity. The Somatosensory cortex, or sensory cortex, of the brain hungers for stimulation, and when the brain is starved from receiving feedback, it finds new ways to be satisfied. The layout of the brain is complex. Some would think that it runs continuously like a circle, but it does not. The
brain is separated into two halves. For example, the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body as the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body. To elaborate more, the left side of the brain controls the sense of touch for the body. In more detail, the side of the face has a segment that reacts to touch, and next to that is the hand segment. This image represents the somatosensory cortex...