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Perception. 2009;38(5):775-7.

Sexual and food preference in apotemnophilia and anorexia: interactions between 'beliefs' and 'needs' regulated by two-way connections between body image and limbic structures.

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  • 1Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0109, USA.


Apotemnophilia straddles the boundary between neurology and psychiatry. It is a condition in which individuals experience the strong and specific desire for amputation of a healthy limb. Research suggests this disorder may be of neurological origin, specifically that the body image centers of the brain lack a cortical representation for a particular limb. A curious aspect of this condition is that sufferers often report an attraction to amputees in addition to desiring their own limb be removed. We postulate that sexual 'aesthetic preference' for certain body morphology is dictated in all individuals in part by the cortical representation of one's body image.

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