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Xenomelia: a social neuroscience view of altered bodily self-consciousness


Brugger, Peter; Lenggenhager, Bigna; Giummarra, Melita J (2013). Xenomelia: a social neuroscience view of altered bodily self-consciousness. Frontiers in Psychology:4:204.

Abstract

Xenomelia, the "foreign limb syndrome," is characterized by the non-acceptance of one or more of one's own extremities and the resulting desire for elective limb amputation or paralysis. Formerly labeled "body integrity identity disorder" (BIID), the condition was originally considered a psychological or psychiatric disorder, but a brain-centered Zeitgeist and a rapidly growing interest in the neural underpinnings of bodily self-consciousness has shifted the focus toward dysfunctional central nervous system circuits. The present article outlays both mind-based and brain-based views highlighting their shortcomings. We propose that full insight into what should be conceived a "xenomelia spectrum disorder" will require interpretation of individual symptomatology in a social context. A proper social neuroscience of xenomelia respects the functional neuroanatomy of corporeal awareness, but also acknowledges the brain's plasticity in response to an individual's history, which is lived against a cultural background. This integrated view of xenomelia will promote the subfield of consciousness research concerned with the unity of body and self.

Abstract

Xenomelia, the "foreign limb syndrome," is characterized by the non-acceptance of one or more of one's own extremities and the resulting desire for elective limb amputation or paralysis. Formerly labeled "body integrity identity disorder" (BIID), the condition was originally considered a psychological or psychiatric disorder, but a brain-centered Zeitgeist and a rapidly growing interest in the neural underpinnings of bodily self-consciousness has shifted the focus toward dysfunctional central nervous system circuits. The present article outlays both mind-based and brain-based views highlighting their shortcomings. We propose that full insight into what should be conceived a "xenomelia spectrum disorder" will require interpretation of individual symptomatology in a social context. A proper social neuroscience of xenomelia respects the functional neuroanatomy of corporeal awareness, but also acknowledges the brain's plasticity in response to an individual's history, which is lived against a cultural background. This integrated view of xenomelia will promote the subfield of consciousness research concerned with the unity of body and self.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:22 Nov 2013 09:58
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 23:53
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-1078
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00204
PubMed ID:23630513

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