Psychosomatics and Phantom Limbs
Welcome to the on-line forum associated with the 2008 senior seminar in Neural and Behavioral Sciences at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges. Its a way to keep conversations going between course meetings, and to do so in a way that makes our conversations available to other who may in turn have interesting thoughts to contribute to them.
Thoughts this week about
- Subcortical contributions to massive cortical reorganizations
- Mirror therapy shows promise in amputee treatment
- The Placebo Prescription
- "Unexplained" somatic symptoms, functional syndromes, and somatization: do we need a paradigm shift? ... Annals of Internal Medicine 134(2), 926-930
- Phantom Limbs, Scientific American, 1992
From Emily Alspector ...
Hey everyone! Felicia and I want to thank you all for a great discussion tonight! We went in a lot of interesting directions but there is still a lot left to discuss. Here are some things we didn't talk about:
Phantom Limbs and the Self (and/or the afterlife)
- Cortical reorganization: why might this mechanism have evolved?
- What do current PLP treatments (mirror therapy, virtual reality) imply about the nature of the condition? About pain in general?
- How might media/culture affect diagnosis practices?
- Ethical issues in treating (or not treating) a psychosomatic illness
And some things that were discussed but could possibly be further thought about:
- Painkiller self-administration and the role of agency
- How do we define Psychology and Physiology?
- If side effects become more prevalent when salient, what ethical issues are involved in revealing all information to patients?
- Are herbal remedies merely placebos?
- What affect does self-diagnosis (WedMD) and overdiagnosis (RLS, SAD, PMS) have in terms of our individualistic society and group identification?