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Capgras Syndrome

Abstract

Capgras syndrome is one of the delusional misidentification syndromes. It is best described as the false and incorrigible belief that a familiar person has been replaced by an impostor. The subject recognizes that the person in question looks identical to the familiar but holds the firm that they have been replaced. Capgras syndrome occurs in a variety of psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, mood disorders, and organic brain diseases such as Alzheimer's dementia, fronto-temporal dementia and Parkinson’s disease. In this chapter I draw attention to the contributions of the anomalies in right hemispheric function, impairments in face processing and the role of the covert face recognition pathways in the pathogenesis of Capgras syndrome. I conclude that Capgras syndrome exemplifies the need for a holistic approach that involves the integration of descriptive psychopathology, the subjective and lived world of the patient, the social and cultural context and the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders for a full understanding of psychiatric phenomena.

Keywords

  • Capgras syndrome
  • Delusional misidentification syndromes
  • Face processing
  • Complex visual processing

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Oyebode, F. (2016). Capgras Syndrome. In: Stanghellini, G., Aragona, M. (eds) An Experiential Approach to Psychopathology. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-29945-7_12

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