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Title: Making sensory, social and motivational decisions about the body
Author: Panagiotopoulou, Elena
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 4405
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Grounding the self in the body makes the bodily self the starting point for the science of the study of self. Our bodily experience encompasses different aspects, such as bodily self-awareness, body ownership and body image. Nevertheless, while much research has focused on such dimensions, our understanding of the relation between them has been poorly understood. This thesis combined experimental methods of embodied cognition with cognitive and emotional manipulations to investigate this relationship. In a series of empirical studies, the thesis focused on: 1) how we combine sensory modalities to perceive our bodily self (self-face recognition), 2) how we combine sensory signals from our own versus other bodies to perceive the bodily affective state (self-other distinction) and 3) how we compare ideals about the body against other rewards and risks to make body-related decisions (value-guided decisions made under uncertainty). These questions were addressed in healthy individuals, people with subclinical tendencies for disordered eating, as well as patients with anorexia nervosa (AN). The findings suggest that our physical body, as perceived and represented from the inside, as well as from the outside, influences sensory, social and motivational aspects of the self. Specifically, increased embodied affectivity, as well as increased attractiveness of other people, enhance the multisensory modulation of self-face recognition. In addition, perceived attractiveness of the self in active comparison to other people appears to influence self-other distinction of bodily affective states. Finally, for people with subclinical and clinical body image disturbances in the context of disordered eating, risk- taking in the face of uncertainty appears to be moderated by the value of the body outcome with which reward and risk are coupled.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available