No effect of featural attention on body size aftereffects

Ian D. Stephen*, Chloe Bickersteth, Jonathan Mond, Richard J. Stevenson, Kevin R. Brooks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Prolonged exposure to images of narrow bodies has been shown to induce a perceptual aftereffect, such that observers' point of subjective normality (PSN) for bodies shifts toward narrower bodies. The converse effect is shown for adaptation to wide bodies. In low-level stimuli, object attention (attention directed to the object) and spatial attention (attention directed to the location of the object) have been shown to increase the magnitude of visual aftereffects, while object-based attention enhances the adaptation effect in faces. It is not known whether featural attention (attention directed to a specific aspect of the object) affects the magnitude of adaptation effects in body stimuli. Here, we manipulate the attention of Caucasian observers to different featural information in body images, by asking them to rate the fatness or sex typicality of male and female bodies manipulated to appear fatter or thinner than average. PSNs for body fatness were taken at baseline and after adaptation, and a change in PSN (ΔPSN) was calculated. A body size adaptation effect was found, with observers who viewed fat bodies showing an increased PSN, and those exposed to thin bodies showing a reduced PSN. However, manipulations of featural attention to body fatness or sex typicality produced equivalent results, suggesting that featural attention may not affect the strength of the body size aftereffect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1223
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Adaptation aftereffects
  • Body fatness
  • Body perception
  • Body size misperception
  • Featural attention


Dive into the research topics of 'No effect of featural attention on body size aftereffects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this