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mcrepeau's picture

Where the reafferent loop comes in?

Perhaps the visual input produced by "seeing" the missing limb in the mirror, thus producing input from an imaginary output, serves to reinforce the importance of the joint role of CPG's and the reafferent system, as well as the overall redundancy of the nervous system, to comment on Zoe's post. In this case the visual "input" is able to mimic part of the reafferent loop and compensates for the discrepancies in the corollary discharge networks by producing a "direct" input that "reports" on the missing limb. Even though the communication amongst the components of the internal score that report on the status of the missing limb sense a problem (i.e. they are not receiving reports from that limb and thus report to the brain and its higher levels of organization that something is wrong via the dummy-light system i.e. the sensation of pain) the visual input that reports on a) the "physical presence" of the missing limb and b) on changes...i.e. if you move the hand being reflected....is enough to trick the nervous system, especially the brain, into acting as if everything is alright and functioning normally.

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