When The Brain Fails To Recognize a Limb

Home Sarai When The Brain Fails To Recognize a Limb
  • Posted on:December 16, 2013
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Xenomelia, or “foregin limb syndrome” is the oppressive feeling that one or more limbs of one’s body do not belong to one’s self and results in the desire to amputate one’s own limb(s). This condition was originally considered a psychiatric or psychological disorder but a recent rise in interest of bodily self-consciousness has shifted focus towards dysfunctional central nervous system circuits.

Body image disorders have been known to arise from stroke or other incidents in which damage to the right side of the brain has occurred. The right posterior parietal cortex appears to combine various streams of information such as touch, vision, balance, and joint position sense that form a dynamic body image that changes as we interact with the world around us.

Brain scans have shown that that exact part of the parietal lobe activates abnormally in individuals with the desire to remove a limb or more. Sufferers of this interesting condition are still able to see and feel the limb in question but do not experience it as part of their own body because the right posterior parietal lobe inadequately represents it.

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