September 2017
Volume 17, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2017
The effect of hunger on the perception of food size
Author Affiliations
  • Noa Zitron
    Psychology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
  • Tzvi Ganel
    Psychology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Journal of Vision August 2017, Vol.17, 475. doi:
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      Noa Zitron, Tzvi Ganel; The effect of hunger on the perception of food size. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):475.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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​The feeling of hunger is an inseparable part of our daily lives. Indeed, previous studies showed that hunger can have a significant influence on people's physiological and emotional state and on their everyday behavior. Yet, it is less clear whether and in which manner does hunger affect the way people perceive their external environment. Specifically, when people feel hungry - do they actually perceive food-related stimuli in a different manner? In two experiments, we examined the effects of hunger on perceptual biases, and more importantly – on the perceptual resolution of food size. We calculated the Just Noticeable Differences (JNDs) to measure the sensitivity to detect the smallest difference between two stimuli of differing sizes. The results of Experiment 1 showed that participants' resolution was higher to detect small changes in food size when they were hungry following a mild period of food deprivation. However, food deprivation did not lead to any directional biases in the average perception of food size. In Experiment 2, we replicated and extended the results of Experiment 2 to a different food stimulus. The results of the two experiments show that food deprivation affects the way people perceive their environment.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017


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