More Than Meets the Mirror

From Scientific American:

Heartbeat-body-image_1 With all of the New Year's diet ads claiming you can lose dozens of pounds in seemingly as many days, you probably are not alone if you looked in the mirror this morning and saw a less than ideal body. Or maybe you just picked up a new magazine in which already thin models have their remaining flesh scavenged by Photoshop to make them appear even slimmer. With all of these unrealistic promises and images, it can be hard to gain an accurate sense of one's own body. But the disjunction for some people might go deeper than manipulated photos.

A new study shows that the way people perceive their external appearance is likely linked to how they experience their bodies internally. Researchers found that people who had greater difficulties sensing their own internal bodily states were also more likely to be fooled into believing a rubber hand was part of their own bodies. These results, published online in the January 5 issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, may one day help scientists understand how body image can become so distorted in disorders like body dysmorphia and anorexia nervosa, says lead author Manos Tsakiris of Royal Holloway, University of London.

More here.