Elements S2 • E35

Are Those Your Lips or Feet? How Your Brain Rewires Itself After Amputation





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Published on Jul 17, 2018

From the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, your brain contains a map to your entire body. But what happens to that map if you lose a limb?

Scientists Want to Transplant a Human Head, Here's Why That's a Bad Idea - https://youtu.be/CMHhF5N1FPY

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How sights, sounds, and touch are mapped onto the brain
“The body's surface and certain features of the external world are mapped onto the brain in a highly ordered fashion. These so-called 'topographic maps' exist in all of the brain's sensory systems, as well as in its motor system. They arise during brain development, and are vital for information processing.”

Brain Remaps Itself in Child with Double Hand Transplant
“The brain reorganization is thought to have begun six years before the transplant, when the child had both hands amputated because of a severe infection during infancy. Notably, after he received transplanted hands, the patient’s brain reverted toward a more typical pattern.”

Advanced artificial limbs mapped in the brain
“Scientists have used functional MRI to show how the brain re-maps motor and sensory pathways following targeted motor and sensory reinnervation (TMSR), a neuroprosthetic approach where residual limb nerves are rerouted towards intact muscles and skin regions to control a robotic limb.”


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