Being Barbie

A group of neuroscientists of the Group Ehrsson at the Swedish Karolinska Institutet investigated how body size influences the way we visually perceive the world, and if there is truth in the idea that it is our body that serves as a fundamental reference in visual perception of sizes and distances. What makes this research relevant to The Incredible Shrinking Man is that it creates full body illusions in which a test subject experiences having a doll’s (or a giant’s) body. It demonstrates that the size of one’s sensed own body directly influences the perception of object size and distance. When participants experienced the tiny body as their own, they perceived objects to be larger and farther away. See a video of the experiment HERE and read the full report HERE.

It’s just the sort of experiment that opens up the possibility to experience and prepare, mentally, for a shrunken future. Perhaps even, at some point, it won’t seem such a farfetched idea anymore.

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