- splitting of the body image
- A term used to denote a rare type of somaesthetic aura that is characterized by the sensation of one's own body being split in two. The affected individual typically perceives his or her body (or head) as being split down the middle, into two halves. The two parts may be perceived as being displaced or separated from each other. Pathophysiologically, splitting of the body image is associated with parietal lesions. Etiologically, it is associated primarily with migraine. The symptom is classified either as a paroxysmal * body schema disturbance, as a somatic delusion, or as a * somatic hallucination. It has also been described as part of the * Alice in Wonderland syndrome. In a paper published in 2002, the German psychiatrist Klaus Podoll and the migraine art curator Derek Robinson (1928-2001) drew attention to the split body image of Sylvie in the book Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) and speculated that Carroll may have used a migraine-associated body scheme illusion (possibly one he had experienced himself) as a source of inspiration for this image. Splitting of the body image should not be confused with conditions such as * autoscopy, * heautoscopy or * illusory splitting. Conceptually as well as phenomenologically, it is related to the sensation of anomalous position and remoteness of body parts and with the * illusory displacement of limbs.ReferencesPodoll, K., Robinson, D. (2002). Splitting of the body image as somesthetic aura symptom in migraine. Cephalalgia, 22, 62-65.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.
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