Essay on Analysis Of The Video ' Secrets Of The Mind '

2097 Words 9 Pages
The first case in the video, “Secrets of the Mind” is the case of Derek Steen. Derek feels pain in his amputated left arm which is also referred to as Phantom Limb Syndrome. Steen does not feel the pain all the time. He explains that after he received his surgery he still had the feeling that his arm was still attached to his body. But the pain came when he thought about his arm, the more he thought about it the more pain he experienced and vice versa. Additionally, Steen says when he first started shaving after becoming an amputee, he would experience pain and a tingling sensation in his amputated hand when the left side (the side where his arm is amputated) of his face was being shaved. For Steen his problem lies in the somatosensory cortex. Meaning the left side of his body (the skin) is controlled by the right side of his brain along a vertical strip of cortex. The amputated left arm of Steen’s does not receive any input from the brain, thus making the amputated hand crave a new sensory input. The face has sensory signals that only activate the area of the face that is closest to the hand that is amputated. In Steen’s case, the sensory signals attack the area that corresponds to the missing hand and the hand region of the brain starts becoming activated. So, the region of the brain that is reading those signals misconstrues the signals, it interprets the signals to come from the missing hand. This means that the sensory pathways of Steen’s brain has been reorganized…

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