Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Amputees Can Experience Prosthetic Hand As Their Own

Date:
December 13, 2008
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
Scientists have succeeded in inducing people with an amputated arm to experience a prosthetic rubber hand as belonging to their own body. The results can lead to the development of a new type of touch-sensitive prosthetic hands.

Scientists at Karolinska Institutet and Lund University in Sweden have succeeded in inducing people with an amputated arm to experience a prosthetic rubber hand as belonging to their own body. The results can lead to the development of a new type of touch-sensitive prosthetic hands.

The illusion of having a rubber hand was achieved by the scientists by touching the stump of the amputated arm out of sight of the subject while simultaneously touching the rubber hand in full view of the same subject. This created the illusion that the sensory input was coming from the prosthetic hand rather than from the stump, and that the hand belonged to the subject’s own body.

The effect was confirmed by the subjects’ own descriptions of the experience and by their tendency to point to the hand when asked to localise the point of stimulation. That they experienced the rubber hand as their own was also substantiated physiologically in that they started to sweat when the hand was pricked with a needle.

The study, which was carried out at the Red Cross hospital in Stockholm, opens up new opportunities for developing prosthetic hands that can be experienced by wearers as belonging to their own bodies, which would be a great benefit to patients and which is considered an important objective in applied neuroscience.

“We’ll now be looking into the possibilities of developing a prosthetic hand that can register touch and stimulate the stump to which it’s attached,” says Henrik Ehrsson, one of the researchers involved in the study. “If this makes it possible to make a prosthetic sensitive by cheating the brain, it can prove an important step towards better and more practical prosthetic hands than those available today.”

The study is part of the EU’s SmartHand project, which is administered from Lund University. The objective of the SmartHand project is to develop a new type of thought-controlled prosthetic hand with advanced motor and sensory capabilities. Other financiers include the European Research Council, the Swedish Research Council, and Skåne County Council.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Henrik Ehrsson, Birgitta Rosén, Anita Stockselius, Christina Ragnö, Peter Köhler & Göran Lundborg. Upper limb amputees can be induced to experience a rubber hand as their own. Brain, (2008) 131, 3443-3452

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Amputees Can Experience Prosthetic Hand As Their Own." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081211081809.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2008, December 13). Amputees Can Experience Prosthetic Hand As Their Own. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081211081809.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Amputees Can Experience Prosthetic Hand As Their Own." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081211081809.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) — More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins