Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University


Yumi Hamamoto

Assistant ProfessorHumans & Society

Mentor Information
Yoshifumi Kitamura (Research Institute for Electrical Communication)
Research Fields Cognitive neuroscience, Psychosomatic medicine
Research Subjects
  • Mechanisms underlying body-image disturbance
  • Establishment of interventions to reduce body-image disturbance
Academic Society Membership  
Research Outline  

Body image disturbance is difficulties in self-body recognition (e.g., size, location, attitudes, etc.), which is one of the biggest causes of eating disorders. It has been revealed that body image disturbance is related to the prognosis of eating disorders and even healthy people sometimes have this disturbance. However, underlying mechanisms of body image disturbance in the context of self-body recognition remained unclear.

Thus, I aim to reconceptualize body image disturbance in the framework of self-body recognition by using virtual reality (VR). The process of self-body recognition can be reproduced by using VR avatars. I will examine neural responses while examining body image disturbance using VR avatars, and then I can reveal mechanisms underlying body image disturbance in the framework of self-body recognition. I also aim to establish VR interventions based on the revealed mechanisms.

Furthermore, through these studies, I also aspire to explore sociological aspects such as the impact of societal pressures regarding the ‘ideal body shape,’ which is one of the causes of body image disturbance, and how the ideal image is formed and shared in a community.


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