Do the robot

Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.

R. U. Sirius sends word of the latest on going cyborgian. Whether you're a newly manufactured robosupermodel or a goth with a technofetish, man-made parts are the new black.

It turns out that the human body may adapt well to such Borg-like accessorization. A recent study in Current Biology by Alessandro Farné and Lucilla Cardinali of the University of Claude Bernard in Lyon, France suggests that the brain can incorporate cyborg additions — a cyborg arm or other body part — into its body schema.

"Since the origin of the concept of body schema, the idea of its functional plasticity has always been taken for granted, even if no direct evidence has been provided until now," says Farné. "Our series of experiments provides the first, definitive demonstration that this century-old intuition is true."

Using a mechanical grabber that extended their reach, subjects behaved as though their arms really were longer. What's more, they perceived touches delivered on the elbow and middle fingertip of their arm as if they were farther apart after using the grabbing tool.

"Strike a Pose, Cyborg!" (Thanks, RU!)