Past Meetup

Mpls and TC Skeptics Present - How the Perception of an Intact Body Can Go Awry

This Meetup is past

8 people went

Hennepin County Central Library

300 Nicolett Mall · Minneapolis, MN

How to find us

2nd Floor, Conference Room N-202 - If you are early, some of us may be in the Dunn Bros. coffee shop in the lobby.

Location image of event venue


Twin Cities Skeptics and Minneapolis Skeptics present: “Phantom limbs, alien hand syndrome, the rubber hand illusion...How the Perception of an Intact Body Can Go Awry...”

This should be a fascinating lecture and discussion.

Here is what Dr. Phelps says about the lecture:

"My topics: I am going to talk about phantom limbs-the outcome that up to 70% of amputees will report that the missing limb "feels like it is still there"; phantom limbs can be a source of great pain or other bodily sensations. Some cases have "felt" like the missing limb is fixed in 3-dimensional space, like an arm extended outward as in a football player's stiff arm. The physiological basis for phantom limbs is reasonably understood. Secondly, I will talk about cases of alien hand syndrome in which brain injury in focused locations will result in a non-dominant arm and hand are complained about as being active by themselves, with the afflicted person reports the limb "does what it wants and I have no sense of control over it..." and it is not perceived as being a part of the person. Individuals with alien hand syndrome are not psychotic and have no other identifiable movement disorder; it almost always occurs in the hand and the limb that is not the individual's preferred or "dominant" limb. Here is what appears to be an authentic case on YouTube: (

Finally, I will talk about a popular research topic known as the rubber-hand illusion in which very simple and non-harmful procedures will result in "normal" individuals will come to report that an rubber hand, a Halloween store type prop, will be reported and perceived as being connected with and actually part of a person's body.
Here is a pretty good video clip of the rubber-hand illusion: ( "

From Dr. Phelps' page at SDSU:

"Dr. Brady J. Phelps, a Behavior Analyst, received his Ph.D. from Utah State University in 1992. Prior to coming to South Dakota State University (SDSU) in 1992, Dr. Phelps taught for the University of Maryland in the Republic of Korea. I became a full Professor at SDSU in 2002.

Since coming to SDSU, I have published papers on a range of topics including substance abuse, Alzheimer's disease, Dissociative Identity Disorder and cognitive rehabilitation, all from a behavior analytic point of view.

I currently have research programs in the following areas: Stimulus Control in the Rubber Hand Illusion as a Conditional Discrimination Hormonal and Circadian factors in Sleep Duration. I also serve on the Autism Advisory Committee for the USD-Sanford Hospital Autism Spectrum Disorders Program.

My other professional interests include evolutionary theory, basic learning processes, animal behavior and the biological bases of behavior. My infamous class Pseudoscience and Psychology is a full court press to explain apparent paranormal and supernatural phenomena in natural science terms, with Occam's razor at its sharpest. My personal interests include amateur photography, entomology, astronomy, sushi, and non-Euclidean geometry."

Please join us at the Hennepin County Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis,[masked]nd Floor, Conference Room N-202, Phone number[masked] (Room Reserved for 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM program depending on Brady. say 1-2 hrs.) There is a different Dunn Brothers Coffee Shop in the lobby of the library, if you get there early, see you at the Coffee shop. A pay parking lot is under the library enter on 4th Street. The Central Library is located between 3rd & 4th St. S, and between Hennepin Ave. and Nicollet Ave. (Block off Washington Ave.)

The website: ( has library information, location & interactive map and directions.