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Tall Tales about the Mind and BrainSeparating fact from fiction$
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Sergio Della Sala

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198568773

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568773.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 October 2020

Out on a limb: neglect and confabulation in the study of aplasic phantoms

Out on a limb: neglect and confabulation in the study of aplasic phantoms

(p.348) Chapter 21 Out on a limb: neglect and confabulation in the study of aplasic phantoms
Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain

Peter Brugger

Marion Funk

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses a phenomenon whose very existence is a matter of debate among today's neuroscientists. Phantom sensations of a limb that was never physically developed are taken as unequivocal evidence, by some researchers, for the innateness of bodily representations, while others consider such sensations the mere product of suggestible minds. This chapter reviews the history of ideas concerning ‘aplasic phantoms’ and attempts to show that, after a long period of neglect of the phenomenon, twenty-first century neuroscience is inclined to consider seriously the reports of some people born without an extremity. Before addressing the specific issue of aplasic phantoms, it provides a brief introduction to the nature of ‘scientific facts’ and the gradual integration of new observations into existing theoretical frameworks.

Keywords:   confabulation, aplasic phantoms, scientific fact, phantom sensations

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