Incongruent mirror feedback can induce the feeling of supernumery limbs in healthy participants.
Studies have shown that a conflict between proprioception, vision, and motor intention can induce altered body sensations and alleviate chronic pain in some conditions. The aim of this study was to investigate reactions to incongruent mirror movement in healthy participants.
A mirror setup (with a whiteboard as a control) was used that included congruent and incongruent hand and arm movements in 113 healthy participants. The authors assessed any occurrence of unusual sensations such as pain, the sensation of missing or additional limbs and changes in weight or temperature.
In the present study, the feeling of an extra limb was the most frequently reported unusual sensation. Only in 2% of the participants did the mirror feedback elicit pain. Overall, there is a large individual variability when using mirror feedback. A patients susceptibility and the way mirror feedback is used might have important implications for the efficacy of mirror therapy for chronic syndromes such as phantom limb pain. > From: Foell et al., Hum Neurosc 7 (2013) 310. All rights reserved to The Author(s).
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