A phenomenological approach to psychoprosthetics

Disabil Rehabil. 2013 May;35(9):785-91. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2012.708819. Epub 2012 Sep 20.


The phenomenology of human embodiment can advance the practitioner's understanding of the lived human body and in particular, what it means to incorporate a prosthetic device into one's body. In order for a prosthesis to be incorporated into the lived body of the patient, the prosthesis must arguably be integrated into the body schema. This article uses the phenomenology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and others to identify three of the necessary conditions of embodiment that determine the body schema: corporeal understanding, transparency and sensorimotor feedback. It then examines the structure of each of these conditions of embodiment and how they impact the lived body's incorporation of prostheses and other artifacts. [Box: see text].

MeSH terms

  • Body Image*
  • Feedback, Sensory*
  • Humans
  • Philosophy, Medical*
  • Prostheses and Implants / psychology*