There are some of us out there who have lost a limb due to an accident, disease, or on the battlefield, and it is definitely not a pleasant experience at all. In fact, for those who have missing limbs, there are times when one feels pain in a place where there should not be any pain at all – simply because of the fact that the limb in question is no longer there. This unexplainable condition has come to be known as phantom limb pain, and we do wonder whether there is anything which can be done to alleviate the situation. Apparently so, as researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have decided to test as to whether they are able to fool the brain into thinking that the limb is still there, and in the process, stop the pain. Talk about reverse psychology!
By attaching electrodes to the skin of the remaining arm of an amputee in order to read the myoelectric signals from the muscles that are located below, the very same arm will also be tracked in 3D thanks to a marker. All of the data that is gathered will be incorporated into a moving generated avatar, where after repeated use using the similar myoelectric interface, the subject “treated” reported a significant drop in pain after going through decades of phantom limb pain.
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