Hand projections demonstrate how anorexia works!

July 20, 2010

Hand projections demonstrate how anorexia works

[tweetmeme source=”handresearch” only_single=false] Scientists at University College London asked people to put their left hands palm down under a board and judge the location of the covered hand’s knuckles and fingertips with a pointer. The results pointed out that people tend to think that their hands are wider and their fingers are shorter than they truly are. Lead researcher Dr Matthew Longo recognized how the findings may well be relevant to psychiatric conditions involving body image such as anorexia nervosa.

Susan Ringwood, chief executive of the eating disorders charity Beat, said:

“We know that one of the features of anorexia nervosa can be distorted body image. People affected can truly believe that they are grossly fat, even when they are dangerously underweight. They are able to judge other people’s bodies quite accurately and would describe someone else the same size as themselves correctly, but still not be able to do that about their own weight and shape.”

“This brain study may give some insight into how this could be possible, and could be very motivating for people with eating disorders to know that there was a biological explanation for their experiences, rather than feeling it was their fault.”

Obviously, the brain tends to make body image projections that are wider and shorter than the body (hand) really is. And women are typically known for experiencing more problems in visuo-spatial tasks!  

But there’s more known about how hands relate to anorexia… 

  

FINGER LENGTH & EATING DISORDERS!

But there is another connection between anorexia nervosa and the hand:  it’s in the length of the fingers! 

High 2d:4d digit ratio (the typically female-like finger length variant) has been associated with low levels of prental testosterone exposure AND high levels of eating disordered behaviors. Michael D. Anestis reports:

“Drive for thinness was lower in men with a lower 2D:4D ratio and drive for muscularity was higher in men with a lower 2D:4D ratio. …A lower 2D:4D ratio also predicted lower levels of eating disordered behaviors in men. …So, what do these findings tell us?  First of all, it appears that, for men as with women, a greater level of prenatal testosterone is associated with less of a drive to be thin and lower levels of eating disordered behaviors.  Additionally, a greater level of prenatal testosterone exposure appears to predict a greater drive to develop a muscular physique.” 

So, next to the brain-created body image distortions – prenatal testosterone is also involved in anorexia nervosa related eating disorders.

Please feel free to share your thoughts…             

   

SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:
Is Madonna suffering on body dysmorphobia?
Fragile hand of a young girl in Uganda!
Superbabe Megan Fox learned how to live with her unusual thumbs
What your physique reveals about your health!

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One Response to “Hand projections demonstrate how anorexia works!”


  1. […] 48-year-old man presents with a 10-day history of fever, hand pain, watery diarrhea, weight loss, anorexia, and intermittent vomiting. Two nodules are noted on both thumbs of his hands. What is the […]

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