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The effects of body exposure on self-body image and esthetic appreciation in anorexia nervosa.

Cazzato, V, Mian, E, Mele, S, Tognana, G, Todisco, P and Urgesi, C (2016) The effects of body exposure on self-body image and esthetic appreciation in anorexia nervosa. Experimental Brain Research, 234 (3). ISSN 0014-4819

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Repeated exposures to thin-idealized body shapes may alter women's perceptions of what normal (e.g., accepted) and ideal (e.g., desired) bodies in a cultural environment look like. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether exposure to thin and round body shapes may change the subsequent esthetic appreciation of others' bodies and the perceptual and cognitive-affective dimensions of self-body image in patients suffering from anorexia nervosa (AN). Thirteen AN patients and 13 matched healthy controls were exposed to pictures of either thin or round unfamiliar body models and, before and after exposure, they were required to either express liking judgments about round and slim figures of unfamiliar bodies (esthetic task) or to adjust distorted pictures of their own body to their perceptual (How do you see yourself?), affective (How do you feel yourself?), metacognitive (How do others see you?) and ideal (How would you like to look like?) body image (self-body adjustment task). Brief exposures to round models increased liking judgments of round figures in both groups. However, only in AN patients, exposure to round models induced an increase in thin figures liking, which positively correlated with their preoccupation with dieting. Furthermore, exposure to round bodies in AN patients, but not in controls, increased the distortion for the perceptual body image and decreased the size of the ideal one. No differences between the two groups were obtained after adaptation to thin models. Our results suggest that AN patients' perception of their own and others' body is more easily malleable by exposure to round figures as compared to controls. Crucially, this mechanism may strongly contribute to the development and maintenance of self-body image disturbances.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00221-015-4498-z
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical And Health Sciences, 17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
Publisher: Springer
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2016 09:49
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2022 15:52
DOI or ID number: 10.1007/s00221-015-4498-z
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3053
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