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Doctors confirm woman's imaginary third arm

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posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 01:29 AM
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Doctors confirm woman's imaginary third arm


www.swissinfo.ch

A 64-year-old woman has reported to doctors at Geneva University Hospital the presence of a pale, milky-white and translucent third arm.

After examining the case, the woman's neurologist, Asaid Khateb of the hospital's experimental neurophysiology laboratory, called the rare phenomenon credible.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 01:29 AM
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Ok, this is absolutely weird to me! Has anyone even heard of this? It's been confirmed as real and not on hoax (because it was posted on April 1st.) What I find intesting is ...

"She does not always perceive the arm but "retrieves" it when needed, doctors told the Swiss news agency"

"It is nevertheless the first case known to doctors of a person being able to feel, see and deliberately move a limb that doesn't exist. The findings are published in the Annals of Neurology."





www.swissinfo.ch
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 01:34 AM
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reply to post by Komodo
 


This is amazing!

The story goes on to say



They said it could represent a missing link between classical phantom limbs and phenomena such as out-of-body experiences.

Phantom limbs are more commonly associated with people who have had an amputation – between 50 and 80 per cent of people who have had body parts removed suffer from it. In most cases it is painful, according to a 1984 article published in a scientific journal called the Clinical Journal of Pain.


This is great!



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 01:44 AM
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Originally posted by HunkaHunka
reply to post by Komodo
 


This is amazing!

The story goes on to say



They said it could represent a missing link between classical phantom limbs and phenomena such as out-of-body experiences.

Phantom limbs are more commonly associated with people who have had an amputation – between 50 and 80 per cent of people who have had body parts removed suffer from it. In most cases it is painful, according to a 1984 article published in a scientific journal called the Clinical Journal of Pain.


This is great!


Thanks I just think this is HEROS stuff in reality!!!



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 02:03 AM
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Sounds to me like that stroke managed to divide the area in her brain responsible for nerve input from one of her arms.

Hence, she gets the phantom sensation of a missing limb in the severed control section, without actually missing it. While the rest of the control areas for that arm are still linked to the arm.


She can't actually probe the physical environment, don't confuse this with the supernatural.

She simply feels like she has a third arm, and her brain activity indicates she is indeed trying to move a third arm that isn't there.



I assume the same might occur when we begin implementing fully functional replacement appendages. The missing original may still be perceived by the patient as a phantom limb while the replacement is also fully functional.


But no, this isn't supernatural, it's just her mind playing tricks on itself. It was damaged by the stroke, and now it's confused by it's own sensory input.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 02:12 AM
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reply to post by johnsky
 


How do you explain her being able to scratch an itch on her cheek with it?


I mean, I understand, this is all about the subjective realm, but that seems like some pretty powerful abilities the mind has there in the subjective realm.

Although not supernatural, this is definitely preternatural.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 02:39 AM
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reply to post by HunkaHunka
 


I can imagine pain and itches gone as well.
It's not exactly ground breaking.

It's referred to as the placebo effect.

Put flour in someones anti-itch powder case and watch... the itch will "go away" when they use it.

Placebo.


Not supernatural.
All she's doing is imagining that she's scratched the itch.

Try it yourself next time you've got an itch... you might just get it to work if you convince yourself you've scratched it.


The itch is just a nerve signal, if your brain is informed you've scratched the itch, it will ignore the signals for a while assuming they're false.

Works for allot of other sensory inputs.

[edit on 13-4-2009 by johnsky]



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 02:50 AM
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Originally posted by Komodo


Ok, this is absolutely weird to me! Has anyone even heard of this? It's been confirmed as real and not on hoax (because it was posted on April 1st.) What I find intesting is ...

"She does not always perceive the arm but "retrieves" it when needed, doctors told the Swiss news agency"

"It is nevertheless the first case known to doctors of a person being able to feel, see and deliberately move a limb that doesn't exist. The findings are published in the Annals of Neurology."





www.swissinfo.ch
(visit the link for the full news article)


Not even close to the first time reported.

"The Hand of God"...With 2 he covered his face with 2 his feet and with two he flew"

All the same stuff. We "Bud" Spiritually.....Their are a lot more then just you inside of you. All those people it took to make you from all the way back to the beginning....Have a stake in you...pun very much intended.

Another way to explain it is, all the dead are like moths and you are a big parking garage light.

Some "Dig in", some "Dig out"...like Dig Dug.

Peace



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 04:02 AM
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reply to post by letthereaderunderstand
 


Or another way of explaining it is exactly as johnsky described. There's nothing supernatural about this case. So she can scratch an itch? Wonderful. Lets see her pick a scab with it. As John said, an itch can be "turned off" - even if it only has the perception of being scratched without actually being scratched. Placebo effect.

If people want to delve the depths of the paranormal and unexplained - then fine, but this case is perfectly explainable and definitely not supernatural. There's no need to interject hocus-pocus and spirituality onto it, and by doing so, you're only further damaging your own position by what looks to be willfully embracing ignorance.

You should also read up a bit on the research done where scientists are able to provoke tactile sensation in artificial limbs or appendages by fooling the brain into thinking it's a part of your body. Usually, and primitively, done now by placing your real hand behind a divider and the fake hand in front of you, positioned so it looks like it could be your own. Stroke both hands with a feather, and after a time, stop stroking your real hand and only stroke the artificial hand with the feather. You'll still feel the feather strokes on the fake hand.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 04:07 AM
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This is really amazing!


This is definitely preternatural.

This is HEROS stuff in reality!!!



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 04:52 AM
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reply to post by Lasheic
 


Or another way of explaining it is exactly as johnsky described. There's nothing supernatural about this case.

Here's what Johnsky said -


Not supernatural.
All she's doing is imagining that she's scratched the itch.

Try it yourself next time you've got an itch... you might just get it to work if you convince yourself you've scratched it.

Then, here's what you said -


There's no need to interject hocus-pocus and spirituality onto it, and by doing so, you're only further damaging your own position by what looks to be willfully embracing ignorance.

Johnsky mentioned "imagination," not the individual you are 'slamming.'

I would like to see your arguments proving 'imagination' is not 'supernatural.'

Anyway, you go on to say -


You should also read up a bit on the research done where scientists are able to provoke tactile sensation in artificial limbs or appendages by fooling the brain into thinking it's a part of your body. Usually, and primitively, done now by placing your real hand behind a divider and the fake hand in front of you, positioned so it looks like it could be your own. Stroke both hands with a feather, and after a time, stop stroking your real hand and only stroke the artificial hand with the feather. You'll still feel the feather strokes on the fake hand.

You provide no links, or any other indication of what 'research' you're even referring to.

One might even be tempted to ask, "Is he making all this up?"

Here's what the article itself says -


Doctors confirm woman's imaginary third arm

Khateb and his colleagues examined the patient's brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a tool that allows doctors to see whether the brain is truly stimulated, and to pinpoint where. In this case, the investigations revealed that the woman actually experienced what she described.

Source : Swiss News, World Wide

From the way I read this, there is an 'actual' physical response 'detectible' in the subject's brain, via the MRI imaging, yet no physical stimulus.

To just 'shrug the whole thing off' as the 'placebo effect,' as if anybody really understands what the placebo effect actually 'is', simply 'dodges the issue.'

My impression is that if anybody's "willfully embracing ignorance," as you put it, it would be you yourself.

And that's fine too, but let's face it - your arguments are shallow, unsupported and do nothing to refute the 'supernatural' view.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 05:01 AM
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It's always funny to me when you hear these kinds of stories some people act like it's so simple to explain.

We live in a universe where we don't know what constitutes 96% of the universe or if your a hologram or not and some people act as if they know everything.

Of course it's not that simple to explain or the Dr. wouldn't have said this:

"Khateb said the exact cause of the imaginary arm remains a mystery."

So when people jump on a thread and act as if everything is easily explained it makes no sense because it's not.

People can't explain the origin of our species on this planet.

The reason why some people act like it easy to explain is because whenever the paranormal or ufology is mentioned or implied some feel they have to oppose it at all costs.

I'm not saying this is a paranormal event but you don't know, I don't know and neither does the neurologist who examined the female patient.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 05:35 AM
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reply to post by visible_villain
 





Johnsky mentioned "imagination," not the individual you are 'slamming.'


Johnsky correctly assessed the article. The post I responded to incorrectly assessed the article. I was telling the author of that post to see Johnsky's response.

What, exactly, are you finding contention with.




I would like to see your arguments proving 'imagination' is not 'supernatural.'


The imagination is the product of brain activity. It IS brain activity. Brain activity is measurable and demonstrable, and with the proper tools it can be decoded. There is technology out there which (while very primitive) can extract imagined imagery out of the mind and display it on a computer screen. Thus far, it's limited to simple shapes and letters - but has proven robust enough to write simple sentences and messages simply by thinking about it.

Look up Brain Computer Interfaces.

Thought is not supernatural. It is not magic. It is not spiritual. It exists within perceivable reality - not outside of it.




You provide no links, or any other indication of what 'research' you're even referring to.


Sorry, I sometimes forget that many people don't casually browse scientifically oriented literature like New Scientist or Nature - and instead are happy learning about scientific discoveries from entertainment sources like History Channel's UFO Hunters and Discovery Channel's Hauntings programs.

Oxford Journals - Journal of Neurology






From the way I read this, there is an 'actual' physical response 'detectible' in the subject's brain, via the MRI imaging, yet no physical stimulus.


Physical Stimulus is merely nerve signals interpreted by the brain. You can trigger sensations of stimulus without the actual presence of stimulus. It's a sensory illusion, very similar to optical illusions. There are also taste, scent, and auditory illusions.




And that's fine too, but let's face it - your arguments are shallow, unsupported and do nothing to refute the 'supernatural' view.


Yes, because science and magic should always be given equal weight when we don't know the cause of a particular phenomena.
Oh, except that in this case - we do. Oh, what the hell... let's just call it magic anyhow and anyone who argues against it is just "shallow".

Huh. No... I still don't see your point.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 05:45 AM
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reply to post by platosallegory
 





Of course it's not that simple to explain or the Dr. wouldn't have said this:

"Khateb said the exact cause of the imaginary arm remains a mystery."


We don't know the exact mechanisms behind what turns a normal cell cancerous either. It's a mystery. Nobody with any amount of education speculates that it's because of demons in your cells. If your car has a knock in the engine and you take it to a mechanic - they might not be able to explain it. It could be a mystery, and they'll refer you to someone else who's more of an expert - but they're not going to claim it's because there's gremlins in your overhead cams.

Look around the world you live in and compare that to how a chimpanzee lives. Not a single technology that we use in our society is based on magic. Some may have speculated magic at one time - but they've either since been proven wrong with demonstrable evidence or the question remains unanswered, often only partially unanswered as discoveries of the natural world help to fill in the gaps - even if they cannot complete the whole picture yet.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 06:36 AM
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Originally posted by HunkaHunka
How do you explain her being able to scratch an itch on her cheek with it?



In his ground breaking book, "Phantoms In The Brain" V. S. Ramachandran demonstrates how the brain "remaps" the missing limb to sensory areas adjacent on the sensory cortex in the parietal lobe. For example, with one patient he describes how the phantom hand is remapped onto the corresponding cheek. Curiously, sensations felt in the cheek are also felt in the phantom hand.

These remapped sensations are "sensory specific" meaning that a drop of water on the cheek is felt as a drop of water on the hand, hot and cold also felt the same way.

The remapping is precise enough that areas of sensation of specific areas of the phantom hand can be drawn on the corresponding cheek.

Other remapping occurs. For example, the genitals and feet are next to each other on the sensory cortex of the brain. Thus it is sometimes reported that lower leg amputees experience orgasmic sensations in their phantom foot. In these instances, orgasm can be felt as being more intense since it is mapped over a larger area of the brain.

www.23nlpeople.com...

It's related to the sensory mapping of the somatosensory cortex. Similarly, although we sense pain in a finger/foot/leg, it's not actually in the finger/foot/leg, lol. But is represented in the brain.

So, the limb is a quirky result of her brain mapping - and she probably has the phantom in the same neural areas as the cheek (quite common), the cheek itch is represented in the brain, she uses the phantom limb represented in that somatosensory area, and she can reduce the sense of itch with her brain acting on the brain. In sum, the itch is probably both represented in her cheek and her phantom limb somatosensory area, lol.

Ze sensory homonculus:



Ramachandran has done some great studies on phantom limbs. For example, they tend to cause great pain, sometimes almost like ubercramps. One way to relieve the pain is to use a mirror box 'trick' whereby the patient perceives two limbs - their true single limb and a mirror image of that limb in place of the phantom. By being able to move the true limb, they percieve movement of the phantom, which can relieve the phantom pain. And, remember, the pain comes from a limb that isn't even there.

Great stuff. She'll be an interesting case study for neuropsychology.

[edit on 13-4-2009 by melatonin]



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 07:31 AM
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reply tocomment by Lasheic
 


What, exactly, are you finding contention with.

IMHO, you've asked the correct question !



The imagination is the product of brain activity. It IS brain activity.

Allow me to draw you a picture -


We have arrived at the 'circular argument' of 'which came first.'

The 'materialist' takes the 'scientific-faith-based view' that 'obviously' the brain-activity 'causes' consciousness, while the 'transcendentalist' ( for lack of a better term ) takes the opposite view, that being, 'obviously' conciousness 'causes' brain-activity.

So, we're stuck 'chasing our tails' aren't we ?

Anyway, beyond wishing you the best of luck with your 'researches,' I might offer a 'basic finding' from my own 'researches' -


If life were logical, men would ride side-saddle.




posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 10:28 AM
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reply to post by visible_villain
 




So, we're stuck 'chasing our tails' aren't we ?


Not at all. By any current standards of measuring consciousness, it's clear that brain activity clearly originates first - though consciousness can stimulate more robust brain activity in a sort of positive feedback loop. This, I think, can be demonstrated using comparative morphology to determine brain and nervous structures in more primitive life forms, as well as in developmental embryology.

Another great example would be in the merger between biology and technology. Scientists have found a way to grow brain tissue on computer chips to form a more integrated BCI interface. Using one of these BCIs, researchers were able to build a robot that used the brain to control it's movement. However, despite the experiment depending on brain activity - the robot is not a conscious being.







If life were logical, men would ride side-saddle.


I find this quip to be quite true. Much of what we know of the world is not based on logical conclusions, common sense, or intuition. Discoveries that we consider mundane and trivial now required massive paradigm shifts in thinking at the time they were presented. The concept of the Earth being round, heliocentracism, electrical signals in the body, germ theory, atomic theory... Evolution. Even some modern day discoveries such as complex chemical communication between bacteria, Plate Tectonics, emergence and self-organization, dark matter, the concept that life is merely chemical programming, etc are extremely counter-intuitive and contrary to how we perceive the world around us.

However, I still don't think that's reason to interject un-necessary supernatural causes for a fairly well explained phenomena, even if there are still a few mysteries surrounding it.

[edit on 13-4-2009 by Lasheic]



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by johnsky
reply to post by HunkaHunka
 


I can imagine pain and itches gone as well.
It's not exactly ground breaking.

It's referred to as the placebo effect.

Put flour in someones anti-itch powder case and watch... the itch will "go away" when they use it.

Placebo.


Not supernatural.
All she's doing is imagining that she's scratched the itch.

Try it yourself next time you've got an itch... you might just get it to work if you convince yourself you've scratched it.


The itch is just a nerve signal, if your brain is informed you've scratched the itch, it will ignore the signals for a while assuming they're false.

Works for allot of other sensory inputs.

[edit on 13-4-2009 by johnsky]



yeah? What do I have to do to actually see this limb that I can scratch myself with?

As I mentioned... This is definitely preternatural.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 12:02 PM
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Phantom Limbs are not supernatural. How do I know this? I have one. I'm a left below the knee amputee. I can feel everything that isn't there. I can move my foot in a circle, wiggle my toes, and even "feel" the bottom of the shoe when I curl my toes. There's nothing supernatural about it. It's just a normal thing that the nervous system does when a limb is lost. I can't see my phantom limb, but I haven't had a stroke either. So I don't get that effect. But I have stopped an itch on my right ankle using my phantom left toes to scratch it before. It's just a trick of the mind NOT supernatural.

The woman in the story has had a stroke which has tricked her brain into creating a phantom limb. It is also causing her to hallucinate seeing the phantom limb. Brain injuries (stroke is a brain injury) can cause people to see, hear, feel, smell, or taste things that aren't there. Sometimes people can even control these hallucinations like she does.

This could lead to breakthroughs on the brain and nervous system if this is fully explored. Which I hope it is. It could lead to treatments for people with phantom limb pain, hallucinations, or brain injuries.



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 02:20 PM
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reply to post by visible_villain
 


Excellent piece of rebuttal! Thank you! *whew* took the words straight out of my mouth. I would be refreshing to see a few more members that 'pfff' this research by doctors to come up with something well documented instead of 'claiming' it's nothing really. I don't mind a debate, but, as ATS is, show me.


what even brought me to the article was it was researched out at a hospital. In order to prove a theory/fact you must first try and disprove it.

I don't know but, in my book, I think the research seems to be quite complete.



[edit on 14-4-2009 by Komodo]



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