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  Investigating the influence of personal BMI on own body size perception in females using self-avatars

Thaler, A., Geuss, M., Mölbert, S., Giel, K., Streuber, S., Black, M., et al. (2016). Investigating the influence of personal BMI on own body size perception in females using self-avatars. Poster presented at 16th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS 2016), St. Pete Beach, FL, USA.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-7B2C-6 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-9AF8-6
Genre: Poster

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 Creators:
Thaler, A1, 2, Author              
Geuss, MN1, 2, 3, Author              
Mölbert, SC2, 3, Author              
Giel, KE, Author
Streuber, S4, Author              
Black, MJ4, Author              
Mohler, BJ2, 3, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497797              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497794              
3Research Group Space and Body Perception, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_2528693              
4Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Max Planck Society, ou_1497638              

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 Abstract: Previous research has suggested that inaccuracies in own body size estimation can largely be explained by a known error in perceived magnitude, called contraction bias (Cornelissen, Bester, Cairns, Tovée Cornelissen, 2015). According to this, own body size estimation is biased towards an average reference body, such that individuals with a low body mass index (BMI) should overestimate their body size and high BMI individuals should underestimate their body size. However, previous studies have mainly focused on self-body size evaluation of patients suffering from anorexia nervosa. In this study, we tested healthy females varying in BMI to investigate whether personal body size influences accuracy of body size estimation and sensitivity to weight changes, reproducing a scenario of standing in front of a full length mirror. We created personalized avatars with a 4D full-body scanning system that records participants’ body geometry and texture, and altered the weight of the avatars based on a statistical body model. In two psychophysical experiments, we presented the stimuli on a stereoscopic, large-screen immersive display, and asked participants to respond to whether the body they saw was their own. Additionally, we used several questionnaires to assess participants’ self-esteem, eating behavior, and their attitudes towards their body shape and weight. Our results show that participants, across the range of BMI, veridically perceived their own body size, contrary to what is suggested by the contraction bias hypothesis. Interestingly, we found that BMI influenced sensitivity to weight changes in the positive direction, such that people with higher BMIs were more willing to accept bigger bodies as their own. BMI did not influence sensitivity to weight changes in the negative direction.

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 Dates: 2016-08
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1167/16.12.1400
BibTex Citekey: ThalerGMGSBM2016
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Title: 16th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS 2016)
Place of Event: St. Pete Beach, FL, USA
Start-/End Date: 2016-05-13 - 2016-05-18

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Title: Journal of Vision
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Charlottesville, VA : Scholar One, Inc.
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 16 (12) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1400 Identifier: ISSN: 1534-7362
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/111061245811050