Alienation of Affection

There’s a piece at NPR about Capgras syndrome, in which people, especially those near and dear to one, appear to be impostors. The syndrome is itself rare, but if our experience with Childhood Onset Schizophrenia is any indication, the delusion is more common than they seem aware.

As I’ve noted, when Aidan fell ill at the age of nine, he continually accused us of not being his actual parents. Medicated at a facility here in Vermont, he shyly asked Mary whether that was really her one day when she arrived.

The piece relies on commentary from the neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran, but this disconnect between recognition and the emotion that ought to accompany it was explored at length in D’amasio’s Descartes’ Error, which I recommend to anyone interested in the subject of this strange alienation.

Somewhat related would be Dr. Helen on the “empathy gap.”

Also at PJM, Frank J. defends liberals from comparisons with terrorists.

About Dan Collins
Dan Collins is a dude who blogs. He used to blog elsewhere. Now he blogs here.

3 Comments on Alienation of Affection

  1. Thanks for tip, Dan…a subject of endless fascination for me. Do you you have Ramachandran’s Phantoms of the Brain?

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  2. Just a random thing about the way schizophrenics (mis)perceive time.

    Turns out our brains perceive reality at about 13 frames per second (movies are at 24 fps).

    Discusses how the schizophrenic brain has a hard time distinguishing the order in which things occur.

    “By muddling the order of thoughts and perceptions within your brain, for example, you might move your hand before you are conscious of the decision, making it feel as if someone else is controlling your movements. And when an advert appears on TV, your brain might picture the product before it consciously registers seeing it on screen – creating the disturbing illusion that your thoughts are being broadcast on television.”

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