Friday, April 24, 2009

Phantom Limbs and the revenge of James-Lange!

WNYC's Radio Lab has been featured on this blog before, and they are back again with another wonderful psychology related radio story (I listen to it on podcast, or you can listen to it directly from their website). This program, "Where I am", is about brain-body communication, and focuses on both the James-Lange theory of emotion (current studies of paralysis victims seem to add powerful support for their original claim that emotions are caused at least in part by bodily changes) and phantom limb syndrome. Really engaging, fascinating stuff. Ramachandran talks about his work curing phantom limb pain with a cardboard box and a mirror!

On a related note, neuropsychologis Peter Halligan, neurologist John Kew and photographerAlexa Wright collaborated on some striking photographs that attempt to "visualize" phantom limbs. Some of these pictures might be kind of disturbing to students, so preview them first, but they are pretty amazing and a nice example of art-psychology collaboration.

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