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Accounting for Delusional Misidentifications

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Hadyn D. Ellis*
School of Psychology, University of Wales College of Cardiff Cardiff CF1 3YG
Andrew W. Young
Department of Psychology University of Durham, Durham DHE 3LJ


Accounts of the major DMSs are given using theoretical models of the functional components underlying recognition of familiar people. Thus, Capgras' syndrome is suggested to involve impairment of processes that can support ‘covert’ recognition of familiar faces in prosopagnosia. It therefore forms a potential ‘mirror image’ of the impairments underlying prosopagnosia, and earlier attempts to link the two conditions directly are questioned. Frégoli syndrome and intermetamorphosis are explained as defects at different stages of an information-processing chain. Not only are these accounts consistent with the association of different DMSs with different brain injuries, but they also offer both suggestions for new inquiries and predictions about possible preserved and impaired abilities.

Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1990 

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