Co-occurrence of the different types of delusional misidentification syndromes (DMS) implies a common pathogenetic substrate. Until now, theoretical explanations have strained to produce a collective approach, but have been trammeled by the initial definition of the syndromes (Capgras/Fregoli) that originated from the attribution of causal significance to the element of familiarity towards the misidentified object. In this article, we present two cases illustrating the co-occurrence of the syndromes and we attempt to propose a new approach to DMS. We hypothesize that a common potential pathogenetic factor underlying DMS could be a disorder of the sense of uniqueness. The ability to attribute uniqueness to the self and to surrounding people, objects, or places is a principal property of the adaptable mind that acts as a matrix for the identification process. We propose that although the term ‘identity’ encompasses the concept of uniqueness, this must be accomplished somewhere in a model of semantic processing of identity. Our approach is questioning the current view that this sequential stage is the PIN stage in the functional model of face recognition by Bruce and Young, and we attempt to see the disordered sense of uniqueness within the evolved form of the model of face recognition and delusional misidentification introduced by Ellis and Lewis. We propose that such a disturbance could result in an unstable identification process, vulnerable to discrepancies in perceptual, emotional, or memory input caused by psychotic or organic mental states, thus resulting in a breakdown of the identification process that inevitably leads to a delusion of denial of identity, or to a delusion of ‘doubles’.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.