Haptic perception in anorexia nervosa

  • Martin Grunwald


In the mid 1990s we, at the Institute for Neurophysiology at the. Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, conducted psycho-physiological trials into brain electrical changes during haptic examination [1, 2]. The experimental task consisted of having subjects haptically explore sunken reliefs with closed eyes and then reproduce the image presented upon them afterwards with their eyes open. The aim was to analyse the stimuli-dependant changes in the subjects EEG. The more than 30 probands in this trial had, as expected, no major problems meeting this demand. However, much to our surprise, one test subject was completely unable to perform the task. Her exploratory times were much longer than the average. Despite this, the drawn reproductions that she produced showed that her perception of the stimuli’s entire structure was completely false and distorted.


Body Image Anorexia Nervosa Parietal Cortex Parietal Lobe Multisensory Integration 
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Selected Readings

  1. Blakeslee S, Blakeslee M (2007) The body has a mind of its own: how body maps in your brain help you do (almost) everything better. Random House, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Bruch H (2001) Golden cage: the enigma of anorexia nervosa. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, USGoogle Scholar
  3. Greenfield L, Herzog DB, Strober M (2006) Thin. Chronicle Books LLC, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  4. Gregory RL (ed) (2004) The Oxford companion to the mind. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Grunwald
    • 1
  1. 1.Paul Flechsig Institute for Brain Research, Haptic and EEG-Research LaboratoryUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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