Say, since I'm commenting upon it here, can I get one of those cool research-blogging icons? Or must my comments amount to more than a snort and a little OJ out my nose?
You may not have known, dear reader, that some people feel a strong desire to hack off one of their limbs. They don't talk about these feelings much 'cuz they know others will recoil in horror at the thought. The word for this odd condition is "apotemnophilia."
One curious aspect of apotemnophilia that is unexplained by our model is the associated sexual inclinations in some subjects, namely a desire for intimacy with an amputee. These sexual overtones are probably one reason why people have held a Freudian psychosexual view of the disorder. We postulate that sexual 'aesthetic preference' for certain body morphology is dictated in part by the shape of the cortical representation of the body image and perhaps hardwired in the right parietal. This offers an alternative explanation of why ostriches prefer ostriches as mates (presumably even when smell cues are eliminated) and pigs prefer porcine shapes to humans (which is not to deny that the preference may partly arise through imprinting on one's parents). In rare instances humans prefer sheep (S M Anstis, personal communication) and women are attracted to Neanderthal morphology, but these may represent atavisms.
Haha, "personal communication." Good one.
*"Sexual and food preference in apotemnophilia and anorexia: interactions between 'beliefs' and 'needs' regulated by two-way connections between body image and limbic structures. (Perception, 2009, volume 38)