Catherine Preston, PhD
(Postdoctoral Fellow)


Under normal circumstances healthy individuals have little problem feeling an accurate sense of ownership over their own body parts and a sense of agency over their own self-produced actions (feeling in control of their own movements). However, these processes, which are fundamental to a sense of self, can become disrupted in some clinical disorders. The main aim of Catherine's research is to uncover the processes underlying both body ownership and movement agency and how this may then relate to relevant patient groups.

Catherine's most recent research utilizes multisensory bodily illusions to manipulate body size and shape to determine whether we can not only alter how we perceive our bodies but also how we feel about our bodies with a view to relate findings to disordered eating behavior, such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Her work also aims to relate such changes to neural networks associated with body representation using fMRI and investigate whether the effects can be modulated by visual perspective (first person perspective - how we normally see ourselves Vs. third person perspective - how other people normally view our body and how we view other peoples bodies).

Other aspects of Catherine's work look at mechanisms that modulate feelings of ownership over individual body parts (hand and arm) and the role of body part misrepresentation in clinical disorders, such as anosognosia for hemiplegia and chronic pain in osteoarthritis.

Sample Publications

Preston C & Ehrsson HH. (2016). Illusory obesity triggers body dissatisfaction responses in the insula and anterior cingulate cortex. Cerebral Cortex. Oct 12. [Epub ahead of print]PDF

Preston C, Kuper-Smith BJ, Ehrsson HH. (2015). Owning the body in the mirror: The effect of visual perspective and mirror view on the full-body illusion. Scientific Reports 5:18345. Link

Preston, C. & Ehrsson, H. H. (2014). Illusory changes in body size modulate body satisfaction in a way that is related to non-clinical eating disorder psychopathology. PLoS ONE. PDF


Catherine Preston, PhD
email: catherine.preston @