Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Perception of our heartbeat influences our body image

Date:
January 7, 2011
Source:
University of Royal Holloway London
Summary:
A new study suggests that the way we experience the internal state of our body may also influence how we perceive our body from the outside, as for example in the mirror.

How we experience the internal state of our body may also influence how we perceive our body from the outside, new research suggests.
Credit: iStockphoto

A new study, led by Dr Manos Tsakiris from Royal Holloway, University of London, suggests that the way we experience the internal state of our body may also influence how we perceive our body from the outside, as for example in the mirror.

The research appears in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Psychologists measured how good people are at feeling their body from within by asking them to count their heartbeats over a few minutes. They then measured how good people are at perceiving their own body-image from the outside by using a procedure that tricks them into feeling that a fake, rubber hand is their own hand.

Looking at a rubber hand being touched at the same time as one's own unseen hand creates the illusion that the rubber hand is part of one's body. The less accurate people were in monitoring their heartbeat, the more they were influenced by the illusion. The study shows for first time that there may be a strong link between how we experience our body from within and how we perceive it from the outside.

Dr Manos Tsakiris from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway says: "We perceive our own bodies in many different ways. We can look at our bodies, feel touch on our bodies, and also feel our body from within, such as when we experience our hearts racing or butterflies in our stomachs. It seems that a stable perception of the body from the outside, what is known as "body image," is partly based on our ability to accurately perceive our body from within, such as our heartbeat."

The study, which was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, UK, is important as it may shed new light into pathologies of body-perception; exploring how certain people feel about or perceive the internal states of their body may help us understand why they perceive their body-image in distorted ways such as those who suffer from anorexia or body dysmorphia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Royal Holloway London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Manos Tsakiris, Ana Tajadura-Jimιnez, Marcello Costantini. Just a heartbeat away from one's body: interoceptive sensitivity predicts malleability of body-representations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2011; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.2547

Cite This Page:

University of Royal Holloway London. "Perception of our heartbeat influences our body image." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110105071151.htm>.
University of Royal Holloway London. (2011, January 7). Perception of our heartbeat influences our body image. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110105071151.htm
University of Royal Holloway London. "Perception of our heartbeat influences our body image." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110105071151.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) — China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:  

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile iPhone Android Web
          Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins