Does food deprivation affect perceived size?

Noa Zitron-Emanuel, Tzvi Ganel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Exposure to food-related stimuli could lead to the triggering of a set of biological, emotional and cognitive responses. Such responses can be pronounced following food deprivation. Indeed, previous research showed that even a moderate period of food deprivation is sufficient to increase perceptual precision to detect changes along food size and to change the processing style of food-related stimuli. It is unclear, however, whether food deprivation also leads to systematic biases along the perception of food size. Here, we used two classic psychophysical methods, the method of constant stimuli and the method of adjustment, adapted to the field of food perception, to study the effect of food deprivation on average perceived food size. In two experiments, food deprived and non-deprived participants were asked to compare a series of food and non-food visual stimuli along their size. The results were inconsistent and depended upon the method used. When found, small bias effects resulted in food stimuli perceived as bigger following food deprivation. The results show that unlike the reliable effects motivational factors have on perceptual precision and on perceptual processing style, they have an inconsistent influence on average perceived food size.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104829
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Food deprivation
  • Motivational effects
  • Perceived size
  • Visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Does food deprivation affect perceived size?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this