In this podcast, Luke Osborn of the prestigious Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, talks about modern prosthetics and biomedical engineering as he provides an overview of the advancing technologies.
Osborn’s work is focused on neuroengineering and applied neuroscience, exploring tactile sensing and feedback for sensory augmentation as well. He works with upper limb amputees, therefore he is well aware of the problems they report. Osborn talks about ‘phantom limb,’ the sensation that an amputated limb is still connected to their body. As he explains, unfortunately these types of sensations can indeed be painful. Osborn talks about muscles that still exist in a partial limb, and how the muscles can cause amputees to feel certain sensations.
Osborn discusses their commitment to advancing prosthetics, and how they utilize sensory feedback. And Osborn provides an analysis of ‘embodiment,’ which is the integration of an artificial limb, or prosthetic, into one’s own identity, the fusion of body plus perception. As Osborn explains, their primary goal is to help amputees feel that their prosthetic limb is a piece of their own body, as much as possible in the same manner that they would perceive a limb they were born with.