Two-phases innovative treatment for anorexia nervosa: The potential of virtual reality body-swap

Silvia Serino, Alice Chirico, Elisa Pedroli, Nicoletta Polli, Chiara Cacciatore, Giuseppe Riva

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

2 Citazioni (Scopus)


It is known that experiencing body as one’s own depend on the integration of different bodily signals (i.e., proprioceptive, tactile, visual, vestibular inputs). In the current study, a group of female participants suffering from Anorexia Nervosa (N=23) viewed within a first-person perspective a virtual body with a skinny belly substituting their own physical body in two experimental conditions (i.e., synchronous vs. asynchronous visual-tactile stimulation). This allowed us to investigate whether illusionary ownership over a virtual body would result in differences in body representation (as measured by asking participants to estimate their body size) before and after a multidisciplinary treatment provided in a center of excellence. Before treatment, there was a significant distortion in body representation, especially as concerns the estimation of the circumference of the abdomen and the hips. After the treatment, the most interesting result is a decrease in the body-size distortions in abdomen. This innovative approach, if further investigated, may be useful for anorectic patients for specifically improving body representation disturbances.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)111-115
Numero di pagine5
RivistaAnnual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Body-size distortions
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Virtual reality


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