Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 40
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Adler, Julia Schabinger, Nadine Michal, Matthias Beutel, Manfred E. and Gillmeister, Helge 2016. Is that me in the mirror? Depersonalisation modulates tactile mirroring mechanisms. Neuropsychologia, Vol. 85, p. 148.

    Barth, F. Diane 2016. Listening to Words, Hearing Feelings: Links Between Eating Disorders and Alexithymia. Clinical Social Work Journal, Vol. 44, Issue. 1, p. 38.

    Bekrater-Bodmann, Robin Chung, Boo Young Foell, Jens Gescher, Dorothee Maria Bohus, Martin and Flor, Herta 2016. Body plasticity in borderline personality disorder: A link to dissociation. Comprehensive Psychiatry, Vol. 69, p. 36.

    Cazzato, Valentina Mian, Emanuel Mele, Sonia Tognana, Giulia Todisco, Patrizia and Urgesi, Cosimo 2016. The effects of body exposure on self-body image and esthetic appreciation in anorexia nervosa. Experimental Brain Research, Vol. 234, Issue. 3, p. 695.

    Cebolla, Ausiàs Miragall, Marta Palomo, Priscila Llorens, Roberto Soler, Joaquim Demarzo, Marcelo García-Campayo, Javier and Baños, Rosa M. 2016. Embodiment and Body Awareness in Meditators. Mindfulness,

    Costantini, Marcello Robinson, Jeffrey Migliorati, Daniele Donno, Brunella Ferri, Francesca and Northoff, Georg 2016. Temporal limits on rubber hand illusion reflect individuals’ temporal resolution in multisensory perception. Cognition, Vol. 157, p. 39.

    Crucianelli, Laura Cardi, Valentina Treasure, Janet Jenkinson, Paul M. and Fotopoulou, Aikaterini 2016. The perception of affective touch in anorexia nervosa. Psychiatry Research, Vol. 239, p. 72.

    Demartini, Benedetta Ricciardi, Lucia Crucianelli, Laura Fotopoulou, Aikaterini and Edwards, Mark J. 2016. Sense of body ownership in patients affected by functional motor symptoms (conversion disorder). Consciousness and Cognition, Vol. 39, p. 70.

    Gutiérrez-Maldonado, José Wiederhold, Brenda K. and Riva, Giuseppe 2016. Future Directions: How Virtual Reality Can Further Improve the Assessment and Treatment of Eating Disorders and Obesity. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, Vol. 19, Issue. 2, p. 148.

    Hirot, France Lesage, Marine Pedron, Lya Meyer, Isabelle Thomas, Pierre Cottencin, Olivier and Guardia, Dewi 2016. Impaired processing of self-face recognition in anorexia nervosa. Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity, Vol. 21, Issue. 1, p. 31.

    Kerr, Catherine E. Agrawal, Uday and Nayak, Sandeep 2016. The Effects of Tai Chi Practice on Intermuscular Beta Coherence and the Rubber Hand Illusion. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Vol. 10,

    Koskina, Antonia Mountford, Victoria and Tchanturia, Kate 2016. The impact of perceptual, cognitive and behavioural factors on dissociative experiences and body disturbance in eating disorders: an exploratory study. Advances in Eating Disorders, Vol. 4, Issue. 1, p. 59.

    Lutter, Michael Croghan, Anna E. and Cui, Huxing 2016. Escaping the Golden Cage: Animal Models of Eating Disorders in the Post–Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Era. Biological Psychiatry, Vol. 79, Issue. 1, p. 17.

    Pollatos, Olga Herbert, Beate M. Berberich, Götz Zaudig, Michael Krauseneck, Till and Tsakiris, Manos 2016. Atypical Self-Focus Effect on Interoceptive Accuracy in Anorexia Nervosa. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Vol. 10,

    Singh, Aneesha Tajadura-Jimez, Ana Bianchi-Berthouze, Nadia Marquardt, Nic Tentori, Monica Bresin, Roberto and Kulic, Dana 2016. Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI EA '16. p. 1092.

    Taborelli, Emma Easter, Abigail Keefe, Rosalind Schmidt, Ulrike Treasure, Janet and Micali, Nadia 2016. Transition to motherhood in women with eating disorders: A qualitative study. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, Vol. 89, Issue. 3, p. 308.

    Zopf, Regine Contini, Erika Fowler, Chris Mondraty, Naresh and Williams, Mark A. 2016. Body distortions in Anorexia Nervosa: Evidence for changed processing of multisensory bodily signals. Psychiatry Research, Vol. 245, p. 473.

    Emanuelsen, Lene Drew, Raechel and Köteles, Ferenc 2015. Interoceptive sensitivity, body image dissatisfaction, and body awareness in healthy individuals. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, Vol. 56, Issue. 2, p. 167.

    Kállai, János Hegedüs, Gábor Feldmann, Ádám Rózsa, Sándor Darnai, Gergely Herold, Róbert Dorn, Krisztina Kincses, Péter Csathó, Árpád and Szolcsányi, Tibor 2015. Temperament and psychopathological syndromes specific susceptibility for rubber hand illusion. Psychiatry Research, Vol. 229, Issue. 1-2, p. 410.

    Schauder, Kimberly B. Mash, Lisa E. Bryant, Lauren K. and Cascio, Carissa J. 2015. Interoceptive ability and body awareness in autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Vol. 131, p. 193.


Increased plasticity of the bodily self in eating disorders

  • E. Eshkevari (a1) (a2), E. Rieger (a1), M. R. Longo (a3), P. Haggard (a4) and J. Treasure (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 05 October 2011

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 (EDs).


The RHI and self-report measures of ED psychopathology [the Eating Disorder Inventory – 3 (EDI-3) subscales of Drive for Thinness, Bulimia, Body Dissatisfaction, Interoceptive Deficits, and Emotional Dysregulation; the 21-item Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21); and the Self-Objectification Questionnaire (SOQ)] were administered to 78 individuals with an ED and 61 healthy controls.


Individuals with an ED experienced the RHI significantly more strongly than healthy controls on both perceptual (i.e. proprioceptive drift) and subjective (i.e. self-report questionnaire) measures. Furthermore, both the subjective experience of the RHI and associated proprioceptive biases were correlated with ED psychopathology. Approximately 23% of the variance for embodiment of the fake hand was accounted for by ED psychopathology, with interoceptive deficits and self-objectification significant predictors of embodiment.


These results indicate that the bodily self is more plastic in people with an ED. These findings may shed light on both aetiological and maintenance factors involved in EDs, particularly visual processing of the body, interoceptive deficits, and self-objectification.

Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: E. Eshkevari, B.Psych. (Hons), Department of Psychology, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, 0200, Australia. (Email:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

M Botvinick (2004). Probing the neural basis of body ownership. Science 305, 782783.

M Botvinick , J Cohen (1998). Rubber hands ‘feel’ touch that eyes see. Nature 391, 756.

H Bruch (1962). Perceptual and conceptual disturbances in anorexia nervosa. Psychosomatic Medicine 24, 187194.

HH Ehrsson , C Spence , RE Passingham (2004). That's my hand! Activity in premotor cortex reflects feeling of ownership of a limb. Science 305, 875877.

A Farne , F Pavani , F Meneghello , E Ladavas (2000). Left tactile extinction following visual stimulation of a rubber hand. Brain 123, 23502360.

BL Fredrickson , TA Roberts (1997). Objectification theory: toward understanding women's lived experiences and mental health risks. Psychology of Women Quarterly 21, 173206.

M Grunwald , C Ettrich , F Busse , B Assmann , A Dahne , HJ Gertz (2002). Angle paradigm: a new method to measure right parietal dysfunctions in anorexia nervosa. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 17, 485496.

M Grunwald , C Ettrich , W Krause , B Assmann , A Dahne , T Weiss , HJ Gertz (2001). Haptic perception in anorexia nervosa before and after weight gain. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 23, 520529.

MR Longo , F Schüür , MPM Kammers , M Tsakiris , P Haggard (2008). What is embodiment? A psychometric approach. Cognition 107, 978998.

MR Longo , F Schuur , MPM Kammers , M Tsakiris , P Haggard (2009). Self awareness and the body image. Acta Psychologica 132, 166172.

AJ Mussap , N Salton (2006). A ‘rubber-hand’ illusion reveals a relationship between perceptual body image and unhealthy body change. Journal of Health Psychology 11, 627639.

SM Noll , BL Fredrickson (1998). A mediational model linking self-objectification, body shame, and disordered eating. Psychology of Women Quarterly 22, 623636.

RC Oldfield (1971). The assessment and analysis of handedness: the Edinburgh inventory. Neuropsychologia 9, 97–113.

F Pavani , C Spence , J Driver (2000). Visual capture of touch: out-of-the-body experiences with rubber gloves. Psychological Science 11, 353359.

O Pollatos , A-L Kurz , J Albrecht , T Schreder , AM Kleemann , V Schopf , R Kopietz , M Wiesmann , R Schandry (2008). Reduced perception of bodily signals in anorexia nervosa. Eating Behaviors 9, 381388.

M Tsakiris , MD Hesse , C Boy , P Haggard , GR Fink (2007). Neural signatures of body ownership: a sensory network for bodily self-consciousness. Cerebral Cortex 17, 22352244.

M Tsakiris , A Tajadura-Jimenez , M Costantini (2011). Just a heartbeat away from one's body: interoceptive sensitivity predicts malleability of body-representations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

R Uher , T Murphy , H-C Friederich , T Dalgleish , MJ Brammer , V Giampietro , ML Phillips , CM Andrew , VW Ng , SCR Williams , IC Campbell , J Treasure (2005). Functional neuroanatomy of body shape perception in healthy and eating-disordered women. Biological Psychiatry 58, 990997.

A Wagner , M Ruf , DF Braus , MH Schmidt (2003). Neuronal activity changes and body image distortion in anorexia nervosa. Neuroreport 14, 21932197.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *