A neural substrate for nonpainful phantom limb phenomena

Academic Article


  • Activity in the cerebral cortex associated with non-painful phantom limb sensation was studied in 14 upper extremity amputees. In four subjects, repetitive tactile stimulation of the digits or the lower corner of the mouth elicited non-painful phantom sensation in the amputated limb, in the remaining 10 patients no sensation could be evoked. Neuroelectric source imaging revealed significantly elevated activity in SI and posterior parietal cortex, and significantly decreased activity in ipsilateral SII cortex when referred sensations were present. However, nonpainful referred phantom sensations were not associated with a shift of the cortical representation of the mouth into the hand region, as previously suggested. Nonpainful phantom limb experiences seem to have widely distributed neural networks in multiple cortical regions. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • NeuroReport  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Flor H; Mühlnickel W; Karl A; Denke C; Grüsser S; Kurth R; Taub E
  • Start Page

  • 1407
  • End Page

  • 1411
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 7