Here's what's up...

If you've spent time rummaging through this website, you will probably have noticed that there are sections dealing with Pons and Merzinich and their theories behind phantom pain. Well, in this section of the page, I'm gonna be dealing with two different researchers with their own theories. If you want to skip the history and jump straight to the theories, then click on either Melzack or Ramachandran.

But First.....................

Here's a little history.....

How do we explain phantom pain? Where does it come from? This is a question a lot of scientists were asking each other when they first realized that phantom pain existed. When a person's limb gets amputated, the severed nerves in the stump grow into nodules called neuromas. Early physicians believed that the neuromas fired randomly, sending signals to the spinal cord, to the thalamus and then to the somatosensory cortex, eventually causing the phantom sensations, including the phantom pain. However, this theory was disproven after surgeons realized that cutting the nerves leading to the neuromas has no effect on the phantom sensations. Researchers began looking into the spinal cord as a possible initiator of the phantom sensations....but, then they realized that parapalegics with complete breaks in the spinal cord experience phantom sensations well below the level of the break. Undaunted, the researchers then looked at the thalamus and the somatosensory cortex as the root cause of phantom sensations. guessed it...none of those places seemed to be in the initial cause. Even with our little knowledge about phantom limbs, researches have been postulating theories. Two interesting theories about phantom pain are listed below.(Melzack 1992)

If you would like to continue your voyage into Phantom Sensations, then you can click either
Melzack's Theory of the NeuroMatrix
Ramachandran's Mirror Box. If you wanna just go back to the home page, then click
Phantom Limb Homepage.

Thanx to