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The sex of body images modulates size estimations and lateralized responses in body perception
Laterality  (IF1.816),  Pub Date : 2020-11-09, DOI: 10.1080/1357650x.2020.1840576
Gabriel A. Tiraboschi, Luísa Superbia-Guimarães, Marina Piran, Gabriela G. Bruneli, Sérgio S. Fukusima, Rui de Moraes Jr.


Previous findings suggest a right hemispheric contribution to body image distortions only in women. Here we set out to replicate this finding and investigate whether the sex of the body image would play a role in this lateralization. We report here two experiments of body size estimation using the divided visual field methodology. In Experiment 1 we found no effect of visual field, participant sex, and body image sex. We discuss the results in terms of the androgynous-like stimuli appearance. In Experiment 2 we increased the dimorphism of body image stimuli. Surprisingly, we observed a different pattern. Both men and women overestimated the size of female models presented in both visual fields, but the size of male models was underestimated for presentations in the left visual field compared to presentations in the right visual field. We found no differences between men and women. Our results suggest that the differences in lateralization of body image distortions between men and women observed in previous studies can be attributed to the sex of the body image. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show that the sex of the body image modulates lateralization and body image distortion.