REstoring the Self with embodiable HAnd ProsthesEs


Project objectives

In humans, the hand, apart from being a tool to feel and act on the surroundings, is a means for social interaction and it establishes the frontiers from what belongs to the Self and what to the environment. Amputation of the upper limb would represent a devastating event in the life of any human being, resulting in a severe disability. It does not only dramatically affect the sensorimotor functional ability of the subject, but also the healthiness of the representation they have of their body that is a fundamental aspect of self-consciousness. Hand prostheses are specifically designed to counteract sensorimotor impairments, but less attention has been posed so far to target the alteration of the image of the body that accompanies the amputation.

RESHAPE aims to study prosthesis embodiment, identify what makes a hand prosthesis easily embodiable, and test how to facilitate the embodiment.

Amputees claim to perceive prostheses as tools; RESHAPE aims to enable amputees to project their self into the prosthesis, improving in parallel their dexterity.

RESHAPE aspires to be a paradigm shift in Prosthetics. It aims to establish the guidelines for highly-embodiable prostheses, to unveil novel insights on how tools shape the body-image and to find new strategies to readdress amputees’ aberrant plasticity and phantom limb pain.

Start/End Date

2016 - 2021

Principal Investigator

Giovanni Di Pino

Host Institution


Source of funding

European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA)


Euro: 1.490.750,00