Björn van der Hoort, PhD
(Postdoctoral Researcher)


The way you see the world depends on your body size. The world appears larger to a small person and smaller to a large person, even when the input to the eyes is identical. Björn investigates both the psychological and the neurological mechanisms of this so called 'body size effect on visual perception'. To this end he creates the illusion that participants own a tiny (30cm) or gigantic (400cm) body, and then tests their size and distance judgments. He is using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate the underlying neural mechanisms of this phenomenon.

Click here to see some footage of the Barbie-doll illusion on YouTube.

Sample Publications

van der Hoort B. Reingardt M., & Ehrsson HH. Body ownership promotes visual awareness. eLife (2017) 6:e26022. PDF

van der Hoort B. & Ehrsson H. H. Illusions of having small or large invisible bodies influence visual perception of object size. Sci Rep. (2016) Oct 6;6:34530. PDF

van der Hoort B. & Ehrsson H. H. Body ownership affects visual perception of object size by rescaling the visual representation of external space. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics (2014) PDF

van der Hoort B., Guterstam A., & Ehrsson H. H. Being Barbie: the size of one's own body determines the perceived size of the world. PLoS One 2011 May 25; 6(5): e20195. PDF


Björn van der Hoort, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Neuroscience
Karolinska Institutet
Retzius väg 8, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden

email: bjorn.van.der.hoort @
office phone: (+46) 08 524 87 984