Reach is always supporting research into upper limb difference research. Can you help Ruth ?
Hello, my name is Ruth Leskovar and I am a PhD student at the University of Portsmouth. Thank you for your interest in being part of my PPI (Patient and Public Involvement) group! This summary will give you an idea of my research project:
It was discovered 50 years ago that it is possible to get the feeling of a moving limb even when this limb stays stationary. When the muscles in the upper arm are vibrated, the illusion can be created that the elbow is moving. In reality, the elbow does not move but the brain thinks it does due to the vibration stimulation. The goal of this research is to use this trick to give prosthesis users the feeling back to know when their artificial limb is moving.
The goal of the project is to improve the daily life of prosthesis users by making the use of artificial limbs easier. Therefore, it is important to be in close contact with users and clinical staff to hear their opinions, wishes and needs. We would like to talk with users about their good and bad experiences with a prosthesis and ask what they think about the ideas described below. We would also like to know if they would benefit if they knew where their prosthesis is. Clinical staff will also be talking to us to help us to find the best way to include additional electronics into a prosthesis, which is needed to generate the illusions.
We have the ability to know where our body parts are, even if we do not watch them. This is the reason why we are able to touch our nose with our eyes closed. When we are using a man-made limb, like a prosthetic arm, to replace the functions of a lost body part, we do not know where this device is. We have to watch it in order to know what it does. Moreover, there are no feelings in the artificial limb and therefore it can feel like using a tool. Obviously, this makes it more difficult to use a prosthetic limb naturally.
If you can help please get in contact with Ruth on firstname.lastname@example.org