Best of PubMed #19

The cheerleader who won’t shake her pom pons.

Tremblay P.

Int J Orthod Milwaukee. 2008 Spring;19(1):37.

PMID: 18512662

Why Barbie is perceived as beautiful.

Magro AM.

Percept Mot Skills. 1997 Aug;85(1):363-74.

PMID: 9293600

Why Barbie feels heavier than Ken: the influence of size-based expectancies and social cues on the illusory perception of weight.

Dijker AJ.

Cognition. 2008 Mar;106(3):1109-25. Epub 2007 Jun 27.

PMID: 17599820

Math is hard, Barbie said.

Begley S.

Newsweek. 2008 Oct 27;152(17):57.

PMID: 18972952

Mathematicians talk tough to new barbie.

[No authors listed]

Science. 1992 Oct 16;258(5081):396.

PMID: 17833126

Can we keep up with Barbie?

Lamacki WF.

CDS Rev. 2009 May-Jun;102(3):48.

PMID: 19530471

Slip an extra locust on the barbie?

Delamothe T.

BMJ. 2013 May 20;346:f3293. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f3293.

PMID: 23690504

The young and the clueless.

Bunker KA, Kram KE, Ting S.

Harv Bus Rev. 2002 Dec;80(12):80-7, 133.

PMID: 12510540

Older male vs. younger female: a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Talbot T.

J Mich Dent Assoc. 2010 Dec;92(12):20.

PMID: 21291087

Ideal female brow aesthetics.

Griffin GR, Kim JC.

Clin Plast Surg. 2013 Jan;40(1):147-55. doi: 10.1016/j.cps.2012.07.003. Epub 2012 Sep 8. Review.

PMID: 23186765

Are there pit bulls with lipstick in your midst?

Briles J.

Tar Heel Nurse. 2009 Jul-Sep;71(3):13-4.

PMID: 19637643

NIH peer review reform–change we need, or lipstick on a pig?

Fang FC, Casadevall A.

Infect Immun. 2009 Mar;77(3):929-32. doi: 10.1128/IAI.01567-08.

PMID: 19168745

Do cosmetics enhance female Caucasian facial attractiveness?

Mulhern R, Fieldman G, Hussey T, Lévêque JL, Pineau P.

Int J Cosmet Sci. 2003 Aug;25(4):199-205. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-2494.2003.00188.x.

PMID: 18494902 [PubMed]

Improving lip wrinkles: lipstick-related image analysis.

Ryu JS, Park SG, Kwak TJ, Chang MY, Park ME, Choi KH, Sung KH, Shin HJ, Lee CK, Kang YS, Yoon MS, Rang MJ, Kim SJ.

Skin Res Technol. 2005 Aug;11(3):157-64.

PMID: 15998326

Lipstick and pearls.

Perrier ND.

Surgery. 2002 Jun;131(6):663-4.

PMID: 12075179

Being Barbie: the size of one’s own body determines the perceived size of the world.

van der Hoort B, Guterstam A, Ehrsson HH.

PLoS One. 2011;6(5):e20195. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020195. Epub 2011 May 25.

PMID: 21633503


A classical question in philosophy and psychology is if the sense of one’s body influences how one visually perceives the world. Several theoreticians have suggested that our own body serves as a fundamental reference in visual perception of sizes and distances, although compelling experimental evidence for this hypothesis is lacking. In contrast, modern textbooks typically explain the perception of object size and distance by the combination of information from different visual cues. Here, we describe full body illusions in which subjects experience the ownership of a doll’s body (80 cm or 30 cm) and a giant’s body (400 cm) and use these as tools to demonstrate that the size of one’s sensed own body directly influences the perception of object size and distance. These effects were quantified in ten separate experiments with complementary verbal, questionnaire, manual, walking, and physiological measures. When participants experienced the tiny body as their own, they perceived objects to be larger and farther away, and when they experienced the large-body illusion, they perceived objects to be smaller and nearer. Importantly, despite identical retinal input, this “body size effect” was greater when the participants experienced a sense of ownership of the artificial bodies compared to a control condition in which ownership was disrupted. These findings are fundamentally important as they suggest a causal relationship between the representations of body space and external space. Thus, our own body size affects how we perceive the world.

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I am a science writer at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, author of fiction and popular science books, an artist, and a professional musician who performs on the viola da gamba and Medieval and Renaissance stringed instruments. I edit manuscripts of all types and teach the full range of scientific communication skills. I am doing theoretical work in this subject - see for example

2 thoughts on “Best of PubMed #19”

    1. Hi Carsten,

      It’s a formatting thing; sorry, I’m a rather basic WordPress user. Sometimes when I copy text from the Word file the links are carried along and other times not. You can jump to the link any time by putting the PMID number into the search field at I’ll try to do this consistently in the future.

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