Phantom Limb Pain Sensation Research

Laurel J. Buxbaum, PsyD, and colleagues in MRRI’s Cognition and Action Laboratory are currently performing experiments with people experiencing phantom limb sensations. They are looking for people to participate in the research. Below are answers to common questions about this study.

What is the purpose of the study?
This study explores two major questions in people with amputations and in participants without amputations (as a comparison). The first question is whether the space around the body is represented differently in people with amputations as compared to other individuals. The second question is whether changes in the brain’s commands to the muscles are related to experiences of pain and sensation after amputation. It is important to understand that this is not a treatment study or therapy. There may be no personal benefit to you, but the knowledge received may be of value to humanity.

What does the study involve?
During the study, you will be asked to perform a variety of tasks involving arm and leg movements as well asjudgments (decisions) about those movements. During some tasks, we may record activity from your muscles or track your movements electronically. You will also be asked to complete some questionnaires.

Compensation for your time
Usually 2 visits will be required. Each visit will last between an hour and an hour and a half and can be scheduled flexibly to fit your schedule. We will give you $15 per hour for your time. Reimbursement for transportation costs is also available up to $20 per visit.

What is the next step?
English-speaking adults (age 18-80) with or without an amputation may be eligible to participate in this study and are invited to contact Cortney Howard at 215-663-6035 or to learn more.