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The Lost SelfPathologies of the Brain and Identity$
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Todd E. Feinberg and Julian Paul Keenan

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173413

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173413.001.0001

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The Mirror Sign Delusional Misidentification Symptom

The Mirror Sign Delusional Misidentification Symptom

(p.131) 9 The Mirror Sign Delusional Misidentification Symptom
The Lost Self


Oxford University Press

Beginning in toddlerhood, the act of looking into a mirror is associated metaphorically with self-reflection. What more devastating blow to the self, then, is the loss of the capacity to recognize oneself in the mirror? Delusional misidentification symptoms (DMS) have been hailed as excellent examples of the interaction between neuropathological and psychological processes. The mirror sign, a bizarre DMS involving the misidentification of oneself in the mirror, presents investigators with just such a unique opportunity to track the pathophysiology of a delusional phenomenon. This chapter describes the mirror sign from phenomenological, neuropathological, and neuropsychological perspectives. It presents the case of an elderly woman who saw the image of herself as a little girl when she looked in the mirror.

Keywords:   self, mirror, delusional misidentification symptoms

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