The plasticity of brain matter in amputees
This study manages to demonstrate that in lower limb amputees, reoganization of the neural cortex occurs, even in subjects who do not experience phantom pains.
The human brain has many amazing properties, one such propertiy is neuro plasticity: the ability to alter the brain structure and function depending on experience. For example, the area relevant to your little toe may be reassigned to another body part.
For amputees there are prior studies showing alteration in both white (WM) and grey (GM) matter of the brain. The study looked at possible thining of the Cortical between the GM and WM and found that this was consistantly present in the left premotor area for Right side lower limb amputees as well as in the and the right visual-to-motor (VtM) regions. The connection to the Premotor cortexs under these right (VtM) regions from the bilateral premotor cortex also showed reduced integrity.
A video on neuroplasticity:
What parts of your brain have been altered by your experiences?
> From: Jiang et al., Neural Plast 2015 (2015) . All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the Pubmed summary.