Experts have come up with a new way to combat phantom limb pain using gaming technology.

Some amputees feel pain where part of their limb used to be, which can become chronic, but a new augmented reality method offers hope for sufferers.

The new method, developed by Gothenburg’s Chalmers University of Technology, uses muscle signals from an amputated limb to control augmented environments, projecting a full limb on to a screen, effectively restoring the arm.

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Electric signals in muscles are picked up by small electrodes placed on the skin, and those signals are transferred on to the screen, using artificial intelligence, into movements that mirror those of the user.

“Augmented reality, it got a lot of hype in the past years,” says Max Ortiz Catalan, assistant professor at Chalmers University of Technology. “People will use it just because it’s cool.

“In this case, it came out as the ultimate mirror therapy.”

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