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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 54 (2012) 12, 1011 - 1017

Review article

The syndrome of Capgras: converging models

A.N. Scholte-Stalenhoef, R. J. van den Bosch

background Various theories have been proposed concerning the syndrome of Capgras.
aim To search for a concept that is common to the various theories relating to the aetiology of the syndrome of Capgras.
methods We begin by describing a new case of Capgras syndrome that we encountered recently, and thereafter we searched the literature using PubMed and PsycINFO.
results Various explanatory models converge in that they all assign a central role to a changed affect. A sensation of ‘alienation’ at a conscious or subconscious level, together with inadequate evaluation of beliefs, seems plausible. All models demonstrate some form of ‘splitting’ i.e. the separate processing of information in time, anatomy or mental representation.
conclusion Although there is no conclusive evidence to support any one of the hypotheses, the models display striking similarities. They complement each other.

keywords aetiology, Capgras, delusion of misidentification