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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

versão impressa ISSN 0034-7450


SIERRA-SIEGERT, Mauricio. Despersonalization: Clinical and Neurobiological Aspects. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2008, vol.37, n.1, pp.40-55. ISSN 0034-7450.

Introduction: Although described more than a century ago, depersonalization continues to be a poorly understood and poorly conceptualized phenomenon. Objective: To supply a current vision of depersonalization in the light of descriptive psychopathology and recent empirical developments in neurobiology and transcultural comparisons. Method: Selective review of literature on depersonalization with emphasis on recent literature. Development and conclusion: Research found in recent literature moves along three tracks, from which these conclusions can be extracted: (a) The phenomenon of depersonalization has a complex structure characterized by several independent dimensions. In this sense it seems to constitute more of a syndrome than a symptom. (b) Recent neurobiological studies suggest the existence of a functional disconnection between perception and its affective concomitants which renders the conscious experience as devoid of “emotional coloring”. (c) The prevalence of depersonalization seems to be sensitive to sociological and cultural variables so that cultures with high individualism seem to confer vulnerability to the phenomenon.

Palavras-chave : Despersonalization; neurobiology; perception.

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