- phantom pain
- The term phantom pain is indebted to the Greek noun phantasma, which means ghost or spectre. It is used to denote a pain perceived in a body part (such as a limb, tooth, or ear) that is either absent or anaesthetic. Phantom pain is a conceptual and phenomenological variant of the * phantom limb illusion, the latter being characterized by the perceived presence of a limb that is actually absent. Phantom pain may be classified as a variant of referred pain. It may also be classified as a variant of the "hallucinated pain syndrome. The issue whether pain can be experienced in a hallucinated form is a knotty philosophical issue; for a further discussion of this issue, see the entry Hallucinated pain syndrome. Research by the American neuroscientist Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (b. 1951) is indicative of the involvement of cortical reorganization in the mediation of phantom pain. It has been suggested that phantom pain may be related in a conceptual as well as a phenomenological sense (and perhaps also in a pathophysiological sense) with other mnestic events such as "flashbacks in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), drug-related "flashbacks, * hallucinogen-induced persistent perception disorder (HPPD), *palinopsia, *reperceptive hallucinations, *eidetic imagery, and * flashbulb memories. In 1934 the term *algohallucinosis was introduced by the Belgian neuropathologist Ludo van Bogaert (1897-1989) as a generic termfor the notions ofphantompain and phantom limb.ReferencesRamachandran, V.S., Blakeslee, S. (1998). Phantoms in the brain: Probing the mysteries ofthe human mind. New York, NY: Quill.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.