Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Capgrass syndrome

Capgrass is a disorder that causes a change in a persons' perception. When a person has Capgrass, they believe that their friends and family have been taken somehow and replaced by crafty impostors. When people with this disorder are asked about their friends and family, they admit that the person looks exactly the same and has the same mannerism however; they still believe the person to be an impostor. This disorder has help scientist to realize that recognition isn't just a question of whether we can recognize a person looks but there is also an emotional component that plays a part. These emotional components come from the amygdala. The amygdala is what gives us the right emotional response when we see people that we know. For example, when you see your mother or father, you have a specific emotional response compared to seeing a stranger. As a result, even though the person's family and friends look exactly the same (because well, they are the same) the victims of Capgrass no longer feel the same when they are in the presents of their family are friends. Sadly because of this, Capgrass victims are determined that their loved one have be taken by impostor and will sometimes try to kill or harm their family or friends in order to find their "real" person. For example, a victim of Capgrass once cut off the head of his family member because he thought he was a robot and was trying to prove it by showing others the wires that he believed to be inside of him.

If you want to get a better feel of what Capgrass is like, a good movie for that is The Stepford Wives staring Nicole Kidman. Technically, the movie isn't about Capgrass but, it shows what its like when you friends and family basically look the same but you just know (emotionally) they are not same. There are other movies that have been inspired by Capgrass’ syndrome such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Total Recall.



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