Abstract for Sevilla Congress

Renato Cocchi MC7057 at MCLINK.IT
Thu Mar 5 13:43:52 EST 1998

 This  is the abstract I sent to Sevilla (Spain) for the  next 
EFNS congress.

 Comments welcome.

 Renato Cocchi MD

Dysmorphophoby   as  a  Neuropsychological  Disorder  of   the 
Equivalence Process Mechanism.
 Dysmorphofoby,  now  termed Body  Dysmorphism  Disorder (DSM-
IV:  F45.2),   is   a preoccupation of  imagined   defects  in  
physical appearance,  in well shaped individuals.  Most claims  
have  the  face as privileged  field  of preoccupation.  
 Although   not  separated,  in this disorder  we   can  found  
either  claims of having a part of the face too large  or  the 
opposite.  I  think   those claims  related  to  two  distinct 
perceptive phenomena,  the  first leading to blow up  physical 
traits, while the second goes towards  the opposite way.
 The  so-called   equivalence  process  mechanism  allows  the 
recognition  of the familiar faces, even his/her own face.  It 
compares   the  present  face's perception  to  all  memorized 
perceptions  of  that  same face, affirming, or denying,  that 
the present face and memorized clues belong to the same
 To  do  this  it  needs  to  magnify  or  lower  any  factual 
difference  induced  by natural or pathologic  processes  that 
modify  facial  traits. The growing old, or a massive  use  of 
cortisonics, are both good examples of them. 
 The dis-integration  between the global perception of a  face 
and   the  perception  of the features of it  as  analysed  by 
particulars, leads to  a failure of the equivalence process.
 Among  many  described  failures  of  this  complex  process, 
dysmorphophopby is that of either these two steps,  magnifying 
or lowering, leading to a lack of identification.

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