Response to Visual Feedback.
Matthias, I can see how treating could be done right now, with the right equipment.. much like your idea about treating paraplegic central pain.
I was thinking of something perhaps a bit more ambitious and potentially devious, however; how one might design a study to determine if back pain could be treated virtually, using these "virtual back" studies as a point of departure.
Think of the possibilities: if it could be shown that back pain/neck pain could be treated visually/virtually instead of being the huge treatment morass it is right now, several ramifications might ensue.
1. Heavy, structurally based manual therapy could potentially be made obsolete in the future. (:D)
2. Potential big cost savings for everyone; patients wouldn't have to suffer as much for as long. Employers would save insurance costs. Insurers would save on disability claims. Aspiring professional human primate social groomers wouldn't feel obliged to pay out huge $ for manual therapy courses of under-studied or dubious quality taught by greedy "gurus".
3. Humans might actually suffer, overall, less low back pain as an industrialized, domesticated species, in the future.
Just some wild and crazy thoughts. Dare to dream I say..