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The Role of Visual Cues in Body Size Estimation


Thaler,  A
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Thaler, A. (2019). The Role of Visual Cues in Body Size Estimation. Berlin, Germany: Logos Verlag.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-5D88-A
Our body is central to what we define as our self. The mental representation of our physical appearance, often called body image, can have a great influence on our psychological health. Given the increase in body mass index worldwide and the societal pressure to conform to body ideals, it is important to gain a better understanding of the nature of body representations and factors that play a role in body size estimation tasks. This doctoral thesis takes a multifaceted approach for investigating the role of different visual cues in the estimation of own body size and shape by using a variety of experimental methods and novel state-of-the-art computer graphics methods. Two visual cues were considered: visual perspective and identity cues in the visual appearance of a body (shape, and color-information), as well as their interactions with own body size and gender. High ecological validity was achieved by testing body size estimation in natural settings, when looking into a mirror, and by generating biometrically plausible virtual bodies based on 3D body scans and statistical body models, and simulating real-world scenarios in immersive virtual reality.