Perceived weight in the face and body size have been shown to be significant predictors of both attractiveness and health. Studies looking at the relationship between attractiveness, perceived health, and perceived weight in faces have found that individuals prefer a lower weight for attractiveness than for apparent health. Here, a group of twenty-four Asian participants were allowed to manipulate the apparent body mass indices (BMIs) of full-length photographs of young Malaysian Chinese women to enhance their perceived healthiness and attractiveness. Results showed that both men and women differentiated between attractiveness and health by preferring a lower BMI for attractiveness than health, suggesting a consistency in the preferred ideal BMI for attractiveness and healthy appearance across both sexes. Results also suggested that BMI provides important cues to judgments of attractive and healthy appearance.
Recent research has shown facial adiposity (apparent weight in the face) to be a significant predictor of both attractiveness and health, thus making it an important determinant of mate selection. Studies looking at the relationship between attractiveness and health have shown that individuals differentiate between the two by preferring a lower weight for attractiveness than for health in female faces. However, these studies have either been correlational studies, or have investigated weight perceived from only the face. These differences have been discussed with regard to sociocultural factors such as pressure from parents, peers and also media, which has been seen to have the highest influence. While exposure to media images has been shown to influence women's own-body image, no study has yet directly tested the influence of these factors on people's preferred weight in other women's bodies. Here we examine how a short exposure to images of models influences men's and women's judgments of the most healthy looking and attractive BMI in Malaysian Chinese women's bodies by comparing differences in preferences (for attractiveness and health) between groups exposed to images of models of varying attractiveness and body weight. Results indicated that participants preferred a lower weight for attractiveness than for health. Further, women's but not men's preferred BMI for attractiveness, but not health, was influenced by the type of media images to which they were exposed, suggesting that short term exposure to model images affect women's perceptions of attractiveness but not health.
Research has suggested that altering the perceived shape and size of the body image significantly affects perception of somatic events. The current study investigated how multisensory illusions applied to the body altered tactile perception using the somatic signal detection task. Thirty-one healthy volunteers were asked to report the presence or absence of near-threshold tactile stimuli delivered to the index finger under three multisensory illusion conditions: stretched finger, shrunken finger and detached finger, as well as a veridical baseline condition. Both stretching and shrinking the stimulated finger enhanced correct touch detections; however, the mechanisms underlying this increase were found to be different. In contrast, the detached appearance reduced false touch reports-possibly due to reduced tactile noise, as a result of attention being directed to the tip of the finger only. These findings suggest that distorted representations of the body could have different modulatory effects on attention to touch and provide a link between perceived body representation and somatosensory decision-making.
The dynamic flexibility of body representation has been highlighted through numerous lines of research that range from clinical studies reporting disorders of body ownership, to experimentally induced somatic illusions that have provided evidence for the embodiment of manipulated representations and even fake limbs. While most studies have reported that enlargement of body parts alters somatic perception, and that these can be more readily embodied, shrunken body parts have not been found to consistently alter somatic experiences, perhaps due to reduced feelings of ownership over smaller body parts. Over two experiments, we aimed to investigate the mechanisms responsible for altered somatic representations following exposure to both enlarged and shrunken body parts. Participants were given the impression that their hand and index finger were either longer or shorter than veridical length and asked to judge veridical finger length using online and offline size estimation tasks, as well as to report the degree of ownership towards the distorted finger and hand representations. Ownership was claimed over all distorted representations of the hand and finger and no differences were seen across ownership ratings, while the online and offline measurements of perceived size demonstrated differing response patterns. These findings suggest that ownership towards manipulated body representations is more bidirectional than previously thought and also suggest differences in perceived body representation with respect to the method of measurement suggesting that online and offline tasks may tap into different aspects of body representation.
Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) O157 and several other serogroups of non-O157 STEC are causative agents of severe disease in humans world-wide. The present study was conducted to characterize STEC O157 and non-O157 serogroups O26, O103, O111, O121, O45, and O145 in ruminants in Malaysia. A total of 136 ruminant feces samples were collected from 6 different farms in Peninsular Malaysia. Immunomagnetic beads were used to isolate E. coli O157 and non-O157 serogroups, while PCR was used for the detection and subtyping of STEC isolates. STEC O157:H7 was isolated from 6 (4%) feces samples and all isolates obtained carried stx 2c, eaeA-γ1, and ehxA. Non-O157 STEC was isolated from 2 (1.5%) feces samples with one isolate carrying stx 1a, stx 2a, stx 2c, and ehxA and the other carrying stx 1a alone. The presence of STEC O157 and non-O157 in a small percentage of ruminants in this study together with their virulence characteristics suggests that they may have limited impact on public health.
The rubber hand illusion (RHI) is a perceptual phenomenon in which participants experience ownership over a fake model hand through synchronous visuotactile stimulation. Several studies have shown that the illusion occurs only when both hands are in close proximity to each other. In the present study, we systematically examined the role of relative position (lateral, distal) and distance (13-75 cm) of the model hand (with respect to participants' real hand) on illusion experience across both lateral and distal positions. Furthermore, we also compared different facets of the subjective illusion experience; the experience of the model hand being part of one's body (i.e., ownership) and the perceptual fusion of vision and touch (i.e., referral of touch). In two experiments we observed indications for a stronger illusion experiences in distal compared to lateral positions of identical distances, indicating that the illusory effects may vary as a function of the relative position of the hand. Our results also showed that manipulations of distance differently modulated both facets of the illusion. While ownership was restricted to near distances, referral of touch sensations remained stable at farther distances. These results are interpreted in relation to variations in sensory weighting across different planes.
In this study, the insulin-like and insulin sensitising effects of the ellagitannins geraniin, corilagin, ellagic acid, gallic acid and Nephelium lappaceum rind extract in 3T3-L1 adipocytes was investigated. It was observed that non-toxic concentrations of geraniin and its metabolites (0.2-20 μM) and N. lappaceum extract (0.2-20 μg/mL) exhibited insulin-like properties in the absence of insulin and insulin-sensitising properties in the presence of insulin particularly with regards to glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. The compounds were further able to promote adipocyte differentiation and may be involved in the inhibition of lipolysis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes in the presence of insulin. However further study into the molecular mechanisms of action of these compounds need to be carried out to better understand the potential of these compounds/extracts to act as therapeutic agents for hyperglycaemia associated with diabetes mellitus and obesity.
Perception of the size of body parts, for instance the hand, has been shown to be distorted in healthy participants, with over- and underestimations of width and length, respectively. Illusory manipulations of body shape and size have highlighted the flexibility of the body representation and have also been found to update immediate perceptions of body size and surrounding objects. Here, we examined whether underlying misperceptions of hand width and length can be modified through exposure to illusory changes in hand size using a mirror visual feedback (MVF) paradigm. While questionnaire responses indicated subjective susceptibility to both magnified and minified manipulations, objective hand size estimates only showed significant differences following exposure to minifying mirrors. These variations might reflect differences in the way that stored representations are accessed or updated in response to size manipulations. Secondly, the findings further reinforce differences between subjective and objective outcomes of illusions on subsequent body perception.