Body Image

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Body Image


the reflection of one’s own body in one’s consciousness, including the outline, dimensions, and boundaries of the body and the relative position of its parts as well as clothing, footwear, habitual articles and tools, prostheses, and the like. A body image is continuously being developed and altered in the course of one’s life.

The concept of body image is used in the study of various mental disturbances—such as depersonalization, impaired perception of right and left, nonrecognition of the parts of one’s body or the sense of their being spatially estranged, the phenomenon of phantom limbs, and the fantasy of a “double”—for purposes of topical diagnosis (for example, of a lesion in the right parietal region) as well as to solve practical problems in prosthetics. In aviation and aerospace psychology the concept of body image is applied to problems of spatial orientation (as in the system man-spacecraft-surrounding space, for example, or illusions regarding spatial location).


Meerovich, R. I. Rasstroistva “skhemy tela” pri psikhkheskikh zabolevaniiakh. Leningrad, 1948.
Giliarovskii, V. A. “Chto takoe ’skhema tela’ v svete dannykh nashikh fiziologov.” Vestnik Akademii meditsinskikh nauk SSSR, 1958, no. 10.
Gorbov, F. D. “Problemy kosmicheskoi psikhofiziologii.” In the collection Chelovek vyshel v kosmicheskoe prostranstvo. Moscow, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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