Patients with lower limb amputation experience “embodiment” while using a prosthesis, perceiving it as part of their body. Humans control their biological body parts and receive appropriate information by directing attention toward them, which is called body-specific attention. This study investigated whether patients with lower limb amputation similarly direct attention to prosthetic limbs. The participants were 11 patients with lower limb amputation who started training to walk with a prosthesis. Attention to the prosthetic foot was measured longitudinally by a visual detection task. In the initial stage of walking rehabilitation, the index of attention to the prosthetic foot was lower than that to the healthy foot. In the final stage, however, there was no significant difference between the two indexes of attention. Correlation analysis revealed that the longer the duration of prosthetic foot use, the greater the attention directed toward it. These findings indicate that using a prosthesis focuses attention akin to that of an individual’s biological limb. Moreover, they expressed that the prosthesis felt like a part of their body when they could walk independently. These findings suggest that the use of prostheses causes integration of visual information and movement about the prosthesis, resulting in its subjective embodiment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes