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David Peterzell, PhD - Fielding Graduate University. Boulder, CO, US

David Peterzell, PhD David Peterzell, PhD

Adjunct Faculty - School of Psychology | Fielding Graduate University


Adjunct Faculty in the School of Psychology



David Peterzell is a member of the adjunct faculty in the School of Psychology.

Industry Expertise (2)

Education/Learning Research

Areas of Expertise (13)

Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior Health Psychology Research Methods and Design Research Practicum Perceptual and Cognitive Neuroscience Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy Psychotherapy and Rehabilitation in Virtual Environments Integrative and Integral Psychology Mindfulness and Yoga in Psychotherapy Individual Differences Digital Games and Literacy Virtual Reality Therapies and Telemental Health Phantom Limb Pain

Accomplishments (5)

Top 1000 Reviewer (personal)

Amazon.com, 2008-2010

Professor of the Week, UCSD Alpha Chi Omega Sorority (personal)

(2006) “In recognition of your outstanding commitment towards helping students expand our education and motivating us to excel.”

Travel Award (personal)

(2000) Optical Society of America

Individual National Research Service Award (personal)

(1996) National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute

Rachel C. Atkinson Fellowship (personal)

(1994) Eye Research

Education (2)

California School of Professional Psychology: PhD, Degree 2001

Alliant International University

University of Colorado: PhD, Degree 1991

Affiliations (7)

  • Association for Psychological Science
  • Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
  • Center for Integrative Psychology (Co-founder, see Service, Departmental)
  • International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • Psychonomic Society
  • San Diego Psychoanalytic Society & Institute (Friend)
  • San Diego Psychology Club (Founder, see Service: Other)

Event Appearances (5)

Beyond Ramachandran's mirror: Novel experimental video-based interventions for phantom limb pain in unilateral and bilateral amputees

Caribbean Regional Conference on Psychology  Wyndham Nassau Resort, Bahamas


Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Visual Feedback for Treatment of Phantom Limb Pain: Preliminary Satisfaction and Pain Reduction Findings

Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, 45th Annual Convention  Toronto, Canada


Visual and psychosocial feedback intervention for phantom limb pain: Participant characteristics

The American Pain Society 30th Annual Scientific Meeting  Austin, TX


A tripartite (triple-reflection) mirror as a rehabilitative technology for the relief of upper phantom limb pain: Case studies and phenomena in non-amputees

The American Pain Society 30th Annual Scientific Meeting  Austin, TX


Beyond Ramachandran's mirror: Embodied video and the phantom pulse

The eleventh annual meeting of the Vision Sciences Society  Nables, FL


Articles (5)

The psychophysics of phantom sensations evoked by Ramachandran's mirror: Temporal dynamics and individual differences explored using the phantom pulse effect in normal (non-amputee) observers Journal of Vision

(September, 2011) Ramachandran, Altschuler and others have shown, in well-known studies, that viewing a mirror reflection of one's moving intact limb can reduce phantom limb pain in single-limb amputees, and can evoke phantom sensations in non-amputee normals. Peterzell and colleagues have found that these effects can be amplified in some observers by using stroboscopic self-motion (“the phantom pulse”) (VSS 2006, 2007, 2010).

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Unusual bilateral referred sensations in a lower limb amputee during mirror therapy: Evidence for a phantom limb within a phantom limb, and crosshemispheric reorganization Journal of Vision

(August, 2010) Amputees often perceive sensations to be emanating from their missing limbs. Sensations can be evoked by touching an intact body part (“referred sensations”, RS) or by creating the visual illusion of an intact limb under volitional control (e.g. using a mirror image of one's intact, moving limb). Current findings suggest that RSs are associated with reorganization of the somatosensory cortex, with the area previously associated with the limb now responding to stimulation of the adjacently mapped body area (Ramachandran, Flor).

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Two studies of phantom sensations: (1) Mirror therapy for bilateral amputees; (2) Mirror symmetric view of self causes paresthesias in some non-amputees Journal of Vision

(August, 2009) Ramachandran, Altschuler and others have shown that the mirror reflection of a moving intact limb can cause phantom sensations in nonamputees, and reduce phantom limb pain in single-limb amputees. Peterzell and colleagues report that these effects sometimes are increased using multiple mirrors (“out-of-body” reflections) or stroboscopic self-motion (“the phantom pulse”) (VSS 2006, 2007). Two new mirror-symmetry effects are reported here.

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The phantom pulse effect: Rapid left-right mirror reversals evoke unusual sensations of phantoms, movements, and paresthesias in the limbs and faces of normals and amputees Journal of Vision

(May, 2008) Ramachandran, Altschuler and others have shown that a simple mirror reflection of a moving intact limb causes phantom sensations in normal observers, and reduces phantom limb pain in some amputees. However, mirror therapy is ineffective for many amputees, and neural mechanisms underlying phantom sensations are not fully understood. While attempting to develop more powerful mirror treatments for phantom limb pain, I have discovered that stroboscopic motion and mirror reversals greatly amplify mirror effects in upper-limb amputees and some normal individuals.

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Three new visual methods for generating phantom sensations: Case studies in the relief of upper and lower phantom limb pain, and benign essential tremors. Journal of Vision

(June, 2007) A mirror box apparatus has been used previously to reduce or eliminate phantom limb pain in amputees and to generate phantom sensations (e.g., tingling) in normal subjects (Ramachandran, Altschuler). We created three apparati that generate phantom sensations in patients and normals, using them to reduce clinical symptoms in some instances when the mirror box was ineffective.

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