Overview

Capgras syndrome


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A delusional misidentification of familiar people, usually relatives or friends, who are believed to have been replaced by exact doubles or impostors; thus a delusion of underidentification, in contrast to Frégoli syndrome, which involves overidentification. The poet John Cowper was afflicted with Capgras syndrome, believing as he did that his friend, the Reverend John Newton, had been supplanted by an impersonator. Also called l'illusion de sosies or the illusion of doubles. Compare Doppelgänger, intermetamorphosis, reduplicative paramnesia. [Named after the French psychiatrist Jean Marie Joseph Capgras (1873–1950) who, together with the French psychiatrist Jean Marie Joseph Reboul-Lachaux (1873–1950), first described it in 1923]

Subjects: Psychology.


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