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Increased plasticity of the bodily self in eating disorders

Eshkevari, E. and Rieger, E. and Longo, Matthew R. and Haggard, P. and Treasure, J. (2012) Increased plasticity of the bodily self in eating disorders. Psychological Medicine 42 (4), pp. 819-828. ISSN 0033-2917.

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Background: The rubber hand illusion (RHI) has been widely used to investigate the bodily self in healthy individuals. The aim of the present study was to extend the use of the RHI to examine the bodily self in eating disorders. Methods: The RHI and self-report measures of eating disorder psychopathology (EDI-3 subscales of Drive for Thinness, Bulimia, Body Dissatisfaction, Interoceptive Deficits, and Emotional Dysregulation; DASS-21; and the Self-Objectification Questionnaire) were administered to 78 individuals with an eating disorder and 61 healthy controls. Results: Individuals with an eating disorder experienced the RHI significantly more strongly than healthy controls on both perceptual (i.e., proprioceptive drift) and subjective (self-report questionnaire) measures. Furthermore, both the subjective experience of the RHI and associated proprioceptive biases were correlated with eating disorder psychopathology. Approximately 20% of the variance for embodiment of the fake hand was accounted for by eating disorder psychopathology, with interoceptive deficits and self-objectification significant predictors of embodiment. Conclusions: These results indicate that the bodily self is more plastic in people with an eating disorder. These findings may shed light on both aetiological and maintenance factors involved in eating disorders, particularly visual processing of the body, interoceptive deficits, and self-objectification.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Bodily self, body perception, eating disorders, interoception, rubber hand illusion
School: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Research Centre: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
Depositing User: Matthew Longo
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2012 11:47
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 11:52

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