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An Impostor in the Family

Article #252 • Written by Gerry Matlack

Imagine, if you will, that one by one your friends and family-- the people closest to you-- are being removed and replaced with exact duplicates. Although they are identical in appearance and manner, you are certain that these people are not your loved ones. They are impostors. While most people would become deeply paranoid in such a scenario, there are some individuals who experience such things every day without fear... and just wonder, "why?" Such is the life of people stricken with Capgras' Syndrome.

A person with Capgras' Syndrome suffers from the delusion that one or more of their close friends or family members have been replaced with exact duplicates, and they cannot be shaken from this belief in spite of an otherwise clean bill of mental health. In some instances, the person believes that they themselves are, in whole or in part, a duplicate. Unlike the paranoia expected from such a condition, there is never a motive assigned for the appearance of the duplicates - the patients do not believe someone is "out to get them," but they are at a loss for an explanation why anyone would want to replace their loved ones.

This odd misperception is named after the French psychiatrist Jean Marie Joseph Capgras, who described the case of a Madame M. in 1923. The woman insisted that identical-looking persons had taken the place of her family. Over time her delusion expanded to include neighbors, friends and acquaintances. But Madame M. never bothered to get to know these impostors because it was her belief that each one regularly left to make room for the next double. In all, she eventually claimed to have had more than eighty husbands.

People suffering from Capgras' Syndrome can sometimes even doubt their own identity after seeing their reflection in a mirror. One man pinched himself on the arm after seeing his reflection at the doctor's office, and wondered aloud whether he and the man in the reflection were the same person. There was also a woman who flew into a jealous rage every time she caught sight of her own reflection, believing this "other woman" was trying to lure her husband away from her. Her husband eventually covered every reflective surface in the house in an effort to keep her from hurting herself. Oddly enough, she had no problem recognizing herself in the mirror of her makeup compact, but anything larger resulted in an assault on the imaginary impostor. Her doctor tried a novel solution: he gathered a number of mirrors of varying sizes, and had the woman view herself in each one. He started with the smallest and gradually moved to the next larger as soon as she recognized herself. Ultimately she was able to see herself in a full-length mirror, and she was cured from then on.

In some instances, individuals with the Capgras delusion see duplicate objects rather than duplicate people. One doctor reported a patient who believed that his poodle had been replaced with an identical dog, and another reported a patient who believed that during the night his running shoes and many other personal possessions were being replaced.

Capgras' delusion always centers around just one of the subject's senses. The most common is the sense of sight; for example, one person readily recognized his wife on the phone when speaking to her, yet when she arrived in the flesh he thought the impostor was actually his sister-in-law. Blind people have also been diagnosed with the disorder, and they believe that the voices of certain loved ones are actually coming from duplicates.

While the causes of Capgras' syndrome are not specifically known, there is no shortage of theories. It has been shown that many people with the syndrome have brain lesions in the right temporal lobe from traumatic injuries, epilepsy, and other causes, yet there are also significant numbers of patients with no such damage in evidence. Also, there is a somewhat higher incidence of schizophrenia among people with Capgras, and in New Zealand there is a markedly higher incidence of the disorder among the Maori people than in the general population.

Some earlier researchers attempted to draw connections to Prosopagnosia, a condition which prevents some people from being able to recognize faces. By measuring a person's galvanic skin response-- the amount of electrical resistance in the skin-- scientists can detect when an individual is experiencing emotions. Patients with Prosopagnosia show an emotional response to familiar faces, though they exhibit no conscious recognition. With a Capgras patient there is no such reaction. Though no emotional connection is present when shown a picture of their father, the patient will remark on the striking resemblance. This test also rules out mental illness as a definitive cause, since the emotional center of the brain would subconsciously react even with impaired perceptions.

Another proposed cause involves some form of damage or impairment in two lobes of the brain: One site of damage affecting the emotional connections with respect to people's faces, and the other affecting the brain's consistency-checking abilities.

In at least one case, doctors have successfully cured Capgras' Syndrome by suspending a prescription of diazepam, yet in other cases symptoms have disappeared after administering anti-psychotic medication. To date, no single treatment has been found to be consistently effective, and so far there is no single theory that can explain all the reported cases of Capgras' Syndrome. We do know, however, that the human mind uses many interlocking cognitive tricks to fill in the gaps of our observations, essentially building a simulation which allows us to interact with our world and society. When just one or two of those links go awry, the true complexity of that simulation is revealed by the fascinating problems that arise.

Article written by Gerry Matlack, published on 05 February 2007. Gerry is a contributing editor for DamnInteresting.com.

Edited by Alan Bellows.

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63 Comments
Man
Posted 05 February 2007 at 07:01 am

Very interesting, for some reason this reminds me of the condition where people disown there own limbs and believe them to be wrong for their bodies.


jreiter
Posted 05 February 2007 at 07:29 am

Damn interesting and Damn scary. Now lets hope we all don't get the affliction where you read about illnesses then start to feel symtomatic!


ti83
Posted 05 February 2007 at 08:02 am

For some reason, I am always very interested in mental disorders--you just can't think up stranger things for the mind to do, it's crazy. This is particularly interesting, I don't understand why that would happen at all--good job, though, good job! DI!

Third!


midnight
Posted 05 February 2007 at 08:06 am

Love the picture.

This couldn't happen really, right?
I mean the person claiming to be my wife was actually replaced by aliens. The cat helped.
I have to go put on my tin hat. ;)


Stead311
Posted 05 February 2007 at 08:08 am

I read this article 10 minutes ago! You replaced it with another one didnt you?!?!

har har, DI Gerry. I hope they find a consistant treatment for this... diseases like this are more scary then cancer to me. When you lose touch with reality it is like living in constant fear and that might be hell in itself. Anyways, great choice of article and it was written very well. Bravo.


frenchsnake
Posted 05 February 2007 at 08:14 am

If there is no consistent cure and as yet no known reason for this affliction, then these "loved ones" are obviously Yeerk Controllers and must be eliminated ;)


Reaper
Posted 05 February 2007 at 08:49 am

I agree, ti83. When the brain enters the picture, reality is more mind-boggling than any fiction I've ever encountered.

Also, does the final line, "When just one or two of those links go awry, the true complexity of that simulation is revealed by the fascinating problems that arise" make anybody else feel...fragile? I'm about to start walking around with a helmet. Can't go to school today, either, or else a neuron will fry and I'll think my feet are a pair of fighting squirrels that are always under foot.


3ThreeIII
Posted 05 February 2007 at 08:59 am

An excellent contribution! Well done. Thanks.

I find it fascinating that those who suffer from this exhibit little or no paranioa or fear.

This is why I am spending at least an hour a day on this wonderful site.

Damn Interesting indeed.


Floj
Posted 05 February 2007 at 09:53 am

Wow, that's interesting how no doctor has come up with a solution for the syndrome. I would like to meet someone that suffers from it, maybe I'll be able to understand it better.

Ah! Floj! I will not let you eat my homemade pie! No, wait! This isn't my pie at all!


dylanfan
Posted 05 February 2007 at 10:03 am

I LOVE stuff like this about the human mind gone wrong. It reminds me of the Twilight Zone. Scarier than cancer for sure. And very well done. Thanks.


FireDude
Posted 05 February 2007 at 11:10 am

DI, I love all the "Grey Matter" articles. I swore I'd read an earlier article here about how a similar phenomenon was due to the lack of emotional response in the brain, but couldn't find the article looking through the archives. Something along the line of you see the face, the image recognition portion of the brain matches the image up to your wife but for some reason the emotional center of the brain doesn't send back an emotional connotation. The result, this person looks just like my wife but can't be my wife because I don't feel like I'm seeing my wife.

I'm most facinated by the fact that the person doesn't get paranoid about it. My head would be covered in aluminum foil so fast...

Thanks Gerry.


oneeyechuck
Posted 05 February 2007 at 11:44 am

Kinda reminds me of Phillip K. Dick's writing. It really is amazing how that 3lb. lump between our ears works (or doesn't) to relate to the world around us.


pEhrlich
Posted 05 February 2007 at 11:54 am

Wow, this was a really good article! I hope it makes it into the book ;-)


Entropy462
Posted 05 February 2007 at 12:14 pm

Maybe these people are just able to see into a parallel universe and are in fact seeing other people


sioleabha
Posted 05 February 2007 at 01:12 pm

Oh my gosh, I actually knew someone who believed this! We all just thought she was senile. (Actually, she probably was also senile.) It was an elderly lady in our church who believed that her husband had been replaced by his brother, who just happened to look exactly like him and have the same name. (He had no brother.) She didn't think it strange that his parents would give two sons the same name, and she thought he was awfully kind to stay with her and take care of her the way he did, but he simply *wasn't* her husband.

I had no idea this was an actual condition, though. Amazing.


misanthrope
Posted 05 February 2007 at 01:42 pm

DI, Gerry, DI.

One little point though:

one person readily recognized his wife on the phone when speaking to her, yet when she arrived in the flesh he thought the impostor was actually his sister-in-law.

You've labelled his wife an imposter, which she isn't. It should be something along the lines of "...he thought she had been replaced by her sister". Or have I just misunderstood?


Techno-Kid
Posted 05 February 2007 at 03:07 pm

I'm sure everybody has thoughts along these lines but it's interesting to know there are people that live their lives based on the assumption that it's true.

I generally assume that I am the imposter when I examine this possibility - how do I know the person I wake up as isn't just a person with a copy of memories of the person who went to sleep in my bed last night? Movies like The 6th Day make me uncomfortable in that regard - those people behaved like they were being brought back to life but in truth the person you are would be gone - forever - while a copy undermines the significance of that.

And don't ever freaking put me on a Star Trek transporter pad. I will cry.


themuffinking01
Posted 05 February 2007 at 04:09 pm

The reverse of this would be the best... X-file... ever. The reverse would be that someone is in fact being replaced by copies, but nobody knows it.
The plot of the episode would go like this:
1. Several murders in several states, all performed in exactly the same way at the same exact time.
2. Mulder & Scully go to investigate.
3. Mulder thinks aliens did it.
4. Scully thinks it's organized crime.
5. They start interrogating suspects.
6. They end up with one suspect being witnessed leaving all of the crime scenes at the same time.
7. They find one of the copies and arrest him.
8. Mulder thinks it's some crazy voodoo stuff.
9. Scully goes to a meeting of some sort while Mulder visits the Lone Gunmen.
10. The Lone Gunmen present evidence that the suspect may have been one of several copies.
11. Mulder goes and arrests all the copies.
12. One copy escapes.
13. To be continued...
14. ???
15. Profit!


Gerry Matlack
Posted 05 February 2007 at 04:53 pm

misanthrope said: "You've labelled his wife an imposter, which she isn't. It should be something along the lines of "…he thought she had been replaced by her sister". Or have I just misunderstood?"

By nature of the disorder, we understand there are no impostors involved - he did think his wife was an impostor when he saw her in person as opposed to speaking to her over the phone. This just happens to be the only reference I was able to find where the person suffering from Capgras actually had a theory behind the duplication -- he named his wife's sister as the one posing as his wife.

If you read through Ramachandran's paper linked at the end of the story, you'll see a good example of how people with the delusion are strangely unconcerned about why their loved ones are being duplicated. D.S. just stated he had no idea why anyone would want to replace his father with a duplicate.

FireDude said: " I swore I'd read an earlier article here about how a similar phenomenon was due to the lack of emotional response in the brain, but couldn't find the article looking through the archives. "

Did you mean this one?

oneeyechuck said: "Kinda reminds me of Phillip K. Dick's writing. It really is amazing how that 3lb. lump between our ears works (or doesn't) to relate to the world around us."

Odd you should mention that, PKD is one of my favorite writers.

To seriously dent your mind, try watching the movies "The 13th Floor" and "The Matrix" back to back while sleep deprived.


El Guano
Posted 05 February 2007 at 05:20 pm

I didn't know there were multiple causes of Capgras', but I did read about one of the theories touched on in the article. Particularly, it was that the brain uses two separate, but interlinked mechanisms by which it recognizes people--visual (or auditory, olfactory, etc.) sense and emotional response. When the brain recognizes a face, it matches it with the appropriate emotional response you'd experience if you saw your mother, father, friend, etc.

When trauma or disease or chemical imbalance cuts off the "emotional response" half, what people experience is factual recognition of the face, but without an emotional response. That gives them the impression that the face is recognizable, but completely alien from the person they know.

There are also instances of people who cannot "see" faces though they recognize the voices of their loved ones, and brings up the question of whether there is "reverse-Capgras'" where people equate a known emotional response to a face they've never seen.


Gele Bena
Posted 05 February 2007 at 05:35 pm

Poodles are objects?

Damn Interesting article!


vonmeth
Posted 05 February 2007 at 05:55 pm

If you are interested in brain disorders, I would really recommend the book titled "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat"

Brain disorders have always fascinated me. I have depression, and have had what is termed "depersonalization" happen to me a several times (Which is extremely scary and found I could trigger it by thinking deeply about certain things .. I now try to avoid that line of thinking) , and then the intense fear that I was going insane (for lack of a better word) when I was having intense withdrawls from Xanax (and this fear was constant, even when I was assured by my doctor).


egerton
Posted 05 February 2007 at 05:59 pm

The photo is from the movie "Invasion of the body snatchers" - It is actually Donald Sutherland - Dad of Kiefer (spelling)


Tink
Posted 05 February 2007 at 06:40 pm

DI! Gerry Matlack! Thank you for another wonderful insight into the human brain.

Working with the mentally ill has been the most fascinating part of my life, I learn something new every day, and it is like being a child again; everyday filled with surprizing new ways of seeing the world differently. Sometimes there are tears and most often laughter, and lucky me always an abundance of love. Thanks again for reminding me and all of us with "sound" minds just how blessed we really are.

(Nice to see ya again FloJ! Wonder if this would call for a strawberry [ Made with rubarb] pie? Hee-hee :)


trillian
Posted 05 February 2007 at 09:11 pm

Ooh! I saw Donald Sutherland at a train station once, dressed in a white suite...which I was thinking about earlier today, when I happened to read someone's account of seeing Tom Wolfe at a train station, dressed in a white suit. I swear, Baader-Meinhof every time I come to this site, one way or another.

Dayamn interesting, and good job with this bit: "We do know, however, that the human mind uses many interlocking cognitive tricks to fill in the gaps of our observations, essentially building a simulation which allows us to interact with our world and society." I think that might be part of why neurological disorders are so fascinating - they illuminate the weirdness of even normal consciousness.


TimWhit
Posted 05 February 2007 at 09:23 pm

I thought it would be a mock-apple pie.


Dr. Evil
Posted 05 February 2007 at 10:58 pm

DI!!! i didnt even know about this disorder. you learn sumthing new everyday dont ya. :-D

i gotta go and sort out my brothers clone. again.


surfjay
Posted 05 February 2007 at 11:05 pm

Oddly, here's a news item I noticed right after reading this:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/conditions/02/02/face.blindness/index.html


chode
Posted 06 February 2007 at 02:43 am

What if... the diagnosis itself was the side affect of a mental disorder and every last one of these people in fact made correct observations that their friends were being replaced... How could you possible prove them wrong using a scientific method?

I would start with DNA, assuming that which replaced them did not have a decent sequencer or device that could recreate something with subatomic levels of accuracy. Then again, if they can notice visual or audible differences, then I would believe that the DNA would likely be pretty far off.

How would you know if you were replaced? Verification of family members should be pretty easy. Old toe nail clippings, hair, assuming you noticed quickly enough that something was wrong.

Would the replacement know that they were a replacement? How would you convince them otherwise?


gsd750
Posted 06 February 2007 at 05:21 am

I watched a documentary that touched on this area. Scientists were studying people with various brain dysfunctions to figure out how a normal brain works. One of the subjects had been in a car accident and suffered brain damage, and had Capgras syndrome. Basically a large part of the brain is dedicated to facial recognition, and then matching that to the stored memories of who people are, and emotions are in integral part of memory. Fetching the memory without the associated emotions would be a very strange experience !


FireDude
Posted 06 February 2007 at 07:34 am

Gerry Matlack said: "Did you mean this one?"

Thanks, but no. El Guano sounded right when he said

"When trauma or disease or chemical imbalance cuts off the "emotional response" half, what people experience is factual recognition of the face, but without an emotional response. That gives them the impression that the face is recognizable, but completely alien from the person they know. "

Maybe I read it on Wiki.

And Re: Philip K. Dick, his short story "The Impostor" is about these sorts of issues (man trying to prove he is not a copy of himself). They made a movie of it called "Impostor" with a great cast that was one of the most disappointing movies I ever saw.


Harriet
Posted 06 February 2007 at 10:44 am

Several years ago, my mother went through a harrowing life-and-death trauma to her body. During the time she was in ICU, I brought her a cuddly teddy bear so she could be reminded of how much we love her when we were away from her side.

One day, however, she insisted that her teddy bear had been replaced with a duplicate and it wasn't the bear I gave her. It looked exactly the same to me, but she was insistant and would not touch or hold the bear after that. To this day she inisists it was a duplicate bear.

Luckily, there have been no other claims of duplicates in her life. it was localized to just the bear. She was terrified of the "duplicate" bear and I can only imagine what it must be like for the poor unfortunates that suffer from this malidy.


2Gabby
Posted 06 February 2007 at 11:31 am

I had a similar experience to Harriet, my mother was in the hospital for a serious illness, and one day when I came to visit her as usual, she insisted my twin had been their earlier in the day! I have no twin (that I know of...lol) so this was puzzling to me. She said that my "slutty twin sister" must have visited her then if it wasn't me, and insisted on this story until the day she died. My husband is still waiting for my slutty twin to visit us...

Seriously though, this sort of mental illness is terrifying. I wonder if animals ever experience this type of thing? That could be why some family pets have "turned" on their owners even after years of loving interaction.


Princess Sunshine
Posted 06 February 2007 at 11:47 am

I wonder where the real loved ones go.


Kafka
Posted 06 February 2007 at 12:51 pm

Nice picture of the guy pointing towards the screen with the shocked expression. This is a very interesting article, and I'm glad that you put it up.

What is much more interesting to me is the fact that people with this disorder will suspend all sense of logic in order to maintain their beliefs. If you ask these people logical questions such as "where did your loved ones go" or "how could they possibly be replicated" they will ignore you or go through huge logical convolutions to avoid the question.

It sounds to me like everyone has a bit of this disorder, if you know what I mean. And I include myself.


KiriBlack
Posted 06 February 2007 at 01:18 pm

Great article, DI! It brought back vividly the times when I was a kid, and my da would go on these two or three month long teaching trips in the summer. Not only was I convinced that he was actually going to be replaced with someone else that was identical to him, but that indeed Da was a completely different dude when he returned. Maybe not the same thing exactly, but it sure gave me a shiver to remember that again so suddenly like that.

My mum had a similar thing happen to her after she'd spent 10 weeks in hospital with pneumonia in critical care. She returned home convinced that not only were we not truly her family (but apparently equally annoying, she claimed), but that she'd died and this was actually an elaborate set-up to convince her otherwise. She eventually came out of it, but believe me, there was more than once that I offered to actually do her in if it would make her feel better. Funnily enough, my kids weren't convinced that that was really their Nana, but who could blame them? LOL

And speaking of tinfoil hats, my husband (bless his heart) actually wears one when he walks the dog at night. Just...don't ask. Don't. It looks like a giant Hershey's kiss on his wee noggin. He does claim that it makes him extra-reflective for safety, so I guess that's alright. ;)


KiriBlack
Posted 06 February 2007 at 01:20 pm

BTW, there was an interesting little article about this in a recent issue of Fortean Times. If anyone's interested, I could look it up.


Harriet
Posted 06 February 2007 at 03:08 pm

Please do, I would love to see it.


eeeeeeeeeeeeeg
Posted 06 February 2007 at 06:32 pm

surfjay, I saw that very same article and thought the very same thing!

looks like a classic example of Baader-Meinhof, eh?


Tink
Posted 06 February 2007 at 10:14 pm

TimWhit said: "I thought it would be a mock-apple pie."

Oh of course! I hadn't thought of that, it is perfect!

Now, where did I put those Ritz crackers/... Here they are; oh no wait, these aren't the same crackers I bought last week! Who replaced my Ritz??!! LOL


adamj.
Posted 06 February 2007 at 10:18 pm

41st!


drewd
Posted 06 February 2007 at 10:24 pm

This is eerily similar to what my mother in law used to suffer. For years (way before I married my wife), she was absolutely sure that her family had been replaced. Sometimes she would say that they were clones, sometimes she'd wonder if the government had done it...she didn't think that "they" were out to get her, but she was absolutely positive that her family had been replaced. Believe me, this is something that is really heart wrenching. She'd go through the motions of doing "family" things, but because she was so sure that nobody was really her family, there was no heart in it.

In time, she also developed a terrible case of schizophrenia and paranoia. Fortunately, we were eventually able to get treatment for her and, while antipsychotic drugs have not completely cured her, she doesn't believe that everyone has been replaced and we only very rarely see a tiny bit of the paranoia.

As interesting as the subject is (and it's damn interesting), I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy (or his family). I can say, though, that I continue to be amazed at the extraordinary results that a couple of tiny, little pills give. As my wife says, it's like having her "original" mom back. And that's the happy ending.


misanthrope
Posted 07 February 2007 at 05:05 am

chode said: "What if… the diagnosis itself was the side affect of a mental disorder and every last one of these people in fact made correct observations that their friends were being replaced… How could you possible prove them wrong using a scientific method?

I would start with DNA, assuming that which replaced them did not have a decent sequencer or device that could recreate something with subatomic levels of accuracy. Then again, if they can notice visual or audible differences, then I would believe that the DNA would likely be pretty far off.

How would you know if you were replaced? Verification of family members should be pretty easy. Old toe nail clippings, hair, assuming you noticed quickly enough that something was wrong.

Would the replacement know that they were a replacement? How would you convince them otherwise?"

Sometimes assumption is a good thing ;)


kranken
Posted 07 February 2007 at 06:06 am

Just wanted to say how much I appreciate this website and all the content you publish.

Damn Interesting is the best damn website out there.


flutersmom
Posted 07 February 2007 at 09:47 am

jreiter said: "Damn interesting and Damn scary. Now lets hope we all don't get the affliction where you read about illnesses then start to feel symtomatic!"

Yeah, definitely! I don't recall a clinical name for the syndrome, but it should probably be called "Student Syndrome" since it so commonly afflicts medical and psychology students. As a psych student myself, I recall that when I told my therapist that I thought I might have adult ADD, his first response was to question whether I might have fallen victim to "the syndrome." (I hadn't -- he eventually concurred with my self-diagnosis.) :)

Being a psych student makes this DI story a VDI one for me!


flutersmom
Posted 07 February 2007 at 10:00 am

themuffinking01 said: "The reverse of this would be the best… X-file… ever. The reverse would be that someone is in fact being replaced by copies, but nobody knows it.

The plot of the episode would go like this:
1. Several murders in several states, all performed in exactly the same way at the same exact time.
2. Mulder & Scully go to investigate.
3. Mulder thinks aliens did it.
4. Scully thinks it's organized crime.
5. They start interrogating suspects.
6. They end up with one suspect being witnessed leaving all of the crime scenes at the same time.
7. They find one of the copies and arrest him.
8. Mulder thinks it's some crazy voodoo stuff.
9. Scully goes to a meeting of some sort while Mulder visits the Lone Gunmen.
10. The Lone Gunmen present evidence that the suspect may have been one of several copies.
11. Mulder goes and arrests all the copies.
12. One copy escapes.
13. To be continued…
14. ???
15. Profit!"

Okay.... and, like, dude, why exactly aren't you in Hollywood? Or are you? DI plot idea. Surely there's nothing more interesting on earth, IMHO, than the human brain.


BlueBearr
Posted 07 February 2007 at 11:21 am

The brain is a brilliant pattern recognition machine. I find syndromes such as this (d) interesting, because they give us some insight into how the pattern recognition machine works. In this case, I think that the existence of this syndrome implies that the visual (or aural) recognition of a person or object is separate from the emotional commitment to that recognition. "He looks the same, sounds the same... but it isn't him."

Perhaps we all expect an emotional response when we recognize something significant (like a loved one, as opposed to, say, a door), and when brain damage prevents that response in sufferers of this syndrome, they subconsciously conclude that their recognition must have been faulty, and further, fabricate an explanation.


frenchsnake
Posted 07 February 2007 at 01:46 pm

Hmm... do you think this could be love that they're sensing (or not sensing)? What if the people who claim to have this affliction are just super-sensitive to the feelings the other person has for them, and if the afflicted still cares for them and they don't feel that love back, their minds conclude, "Okay, this isn't like the person I married/etc., so it must be an impostor." Extremely difficult to prove, though...


another viewpoint
Posted 07 February 2007 at 01:58 pm

...Crapgas Syndrome...the thought that when you look into the mirror you see yourself as Donald Sutherland. That's mind boggling enough. Wait a minute...who said that? Sorry, must have been my other self.


flutersmom
Posted 07 February 2007 at 09:29 pm

another viewpoint said: "…Crapgas Syndrome…the thought that when you look into the mirror you see yourself as Donald Sutherland. That's mind boggling enough. Wait a minute…who said that? Sorry, must have been my other self."

OMG --- ROFL!!!!


Byrden
Posted 08 February 2007 at 02:14 am

I would just shrug and say "Oh, crap, my recognizer's broken".


Nonesuch
Posted 10 February 2007 at 09:32 pm

I thought there might be something suspicious between my idle monkey typing showing up here as well constructed thought and expression... thanx for the article and lead..


Plank
Posted 21 February 2007 at 12:31 am

For some more interesting things your brain can do:

http://www.autoadviceoffl.com/Braindisease.htm

Inspiration for future articles perhaps?


E-hero
Posted 11 March 2007 at 06:45 am

Danm Interesting but the mirror thing just made it seem like the lady was an idiot.


E-hero
Posted 11 March 2007 at 06:46 am

Danm Interesting but the mirror thing just made it seem like the lady was an idiot


E-hero
Posted 11 March 2007 at 06:46 am

No offence to anybody that has it


carolina
Posted 16 May 2007 at 03:02 pm

This syndrome indeed is damn interesting and damn destructive too! I found this website looking for articles on Capgras. My mother has died 6 years ago, partly because of this syndrome. I didn't know it had a name until very recently. This article is the first thing I read about it that is well written and very recognisable to me. I am astonished to learn that there are more people who consider their loved ones to be imposters, because at the time I thought it was a unique thing. Very difficult to explain to outsiders that your mother thinks you are a duplicate of yourself. I have lived with it for years and not one medical expert ever mentioned Capgras to me. This article clarifies a lot, not especially to me, but to everyone that has never heard about this. So thank you very much. I am happy that more people get to know about this strange phenomena, and it feels comforting to know that I was not the only one struggling with a relative with this bizar syndrome.


Emmy
Posted 19 June 2007 at 05:26 pm

Ahaha that picture is pure gold!


Alx_xlA
Posted 28 September 2007 at 08:36 pm

This reminds me of Beethoven. Wait... His friends actually did sneak into his house and replace his dirty clothes with clean ones.


Nick Jones
Posted 16 January 2008 at 04:52 am

Jack Finney must have heard of this before he wrote "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

If he wrote it.


alex212
Posted 27 March 2009 at 12:34 pm

If I were in their shoes, I would have tested their "fake" relatives' DNA. Something makes me think It would lead to new questions. With some things I have seen, these people do not seem so crazy to me. They probably know too well what they're talking about. Funny, is'nt it, eh?


winnerofalltimes
Posted 03 April 2009 at 05:46 pm

MY FIRST POST!!!!!!!!!!!!
LOL


monstermac77
Posted 16 August 2010 at 03:13 pm

A TED talk by VS Ramachandran:

http://www.ted.com/talks/vilayanur_ramachandran_on_your_mind.html

He covers this peculiar phenomenon.


END OF COMMENTS
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