Corporeal awareness and proprioceptive sense of the phantom

Melita Giummarra, Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis, Michael Nicholls, Stephen Gibson, Michael Chou, John Bradshaw

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    46 Citations (Scopus)


    Phantom limb perception almost invariably follows limb amputation, and can be characterized by various corporeal and proprioceptive qualities. We report a study of 283 amputees, which administered a structured questionnaire to systematically determine the relative frequency and nature of various bodily aspects of phantom limb perception. These include the size, shape, posture, and telescoping of the phantom; exteroceptive sensations of itch, touch, pressure, vibration, temperature, and 'electric' sensations; and prosthesis embodiment. Phantom limbs were generally found to be characterized by properties that parallel those of the intact body, although with anatomically impossible configurations sometimes being perceived. We suggest that both the internal limb image and limb schemata play a significant role in the continued perception of phantom limbs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)791-808
    Number of pages18
    JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


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