Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Phantom Limbs

  • Christoforos ChristoforouEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1010-1



Phantom limb refers to a vivid sensation and a perception of the physical existence of a limb that has been amputated.


It has been widely suggested that many people who lose a limb to amputation, they have continued to sense intensely and in a vivid manner the existence of the lost limb a phenomenon that has been widely termed as “phantom limb” (Pinel and Barnes 2017). Over the last century, there had been numerous attempts to analyze theoretically, operationally, and religiously this striking phenomenon, varying from psychoanalytic hypotheses related to unconscious wish fulfillment to the postulation of an immaterial psyche (Daroff 2015). However, in the last few decades, a substantial amount of researchers have proposed that these phenomena are the result of neuroplasticity (Ramachandran 2012). The most remarkable characteristic of those phenomena is the incredibly realistic sensation and perception...

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus

Section editors and affiliations

  • Menelaos Apostolou
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus