Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 177–189 | Cite as

Restating the role of phenomenal experience in the formation and maintenance of the Capgras delusion

  • Garry Young


In recent times, explanations of the Capgras delusion have tended to emphasise the cognitive dysfunction that is believed to occur at the second stage of two-stage models. This is generally viewed as a response to the inadequacies of the one-stage account. Whilst accepting that some form of cognitive disruption is a necessary part of the aetiology of the Capgras delusion, I nevertheless argue that the emphasis placed on this second-stage is to the detriment of the important role played by the phenomenology underlying the disorder, both in terms of the formation and maintenance of the delusional belief. This paper therefore proposes an interactionist two-stage model in which the phenomenal experience of the Capgras patient is examined, emphasised, and its relation to top-down processing discussed.

Key words

Capgras delusion phenomenal experience lack and loss of familiarity recognition experiential reorientation bottom-up and top-down processing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Psychological SciencesUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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