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April 1957

The Illusory Awareness of Body Parts in Cerebral Disease

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;77(4):366-375. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330340042004

For many years, neurologists have noted various complicated mental phenomena involving the body image in certain patients with organic disease of the brain. The clinical pictures have been characterized by distortion and defects in the awareness of his body parts, or, less often, of those of persons about him. The underlying pathological processes have been of degenerative nature or due to vascular or neoplastic disease.

Most recently, the subject has been excellently summarized by Critchley, of England, in his monograph "The Parietal Lobes."1 In this country, Weinstein and Kahn2 have made a number of valuable studies on the same matter. Before proceeding to our presentation of five unusual cases, we should like to present the views of these investigators. Critchley regards such alterations in the body image (or body schema) as due often, though not invariably, to disease of the parietal lobe, usually on the nondominant, i.e., right,