Body Size May Influence How People View the
FRIDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Your size may influence how
you perceive the world around you, a new study suggests.
People were tricked into believing they were either the size of
Barbie dolls or 13-foot giants in a study conducted by scientists
at Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
The study, published online May 25 in
PLoS ONE, found that when people believed they had a tiny body, they overestimated the size of certain objects and their distance from them. Those who believed they had large bodies did the opposite, underestimating the objects' size and distance.
This skewed perception of space was evaluated by having
participants estimate the size of various blocks, close their eyes
and step over them.
"Tiny bodies perceive the world as huge, and vice versa," study leader Henrik Ehrsson said in a journal news release. "Even though we know just how large people are, the illusion makes us perceive other people as giants; it's a very weird experience."
Researchers pointed out their findings might contribute to
certain practical applications, such as swapping human bodies with
artificial ones. "It's possible, in theory, to produce an illusion
of being a microscopic robot that can carry out operations in the
human body, or a giant robot repairing a nuclear power plant after
an accident," Ehrsson said in the news release.
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
provides detailed information on the
human brain and how it works.
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