Give Voices In Your Head A Virtual Body And They’ll Go Away
2013-05-31 0:00

By Colin Lecher | POPSCI

A recent study showed that schizophrenic patients who put an avatar to the voices they were hearing ended up hearing the voices less.

This might be an unexpected way to treat schizophrenics hearing a disembodied voice: embodying the voice.

In the U.K., psychiatrist Julian Leff tried an experiment to treat patients hearing voices. He had a group of patients put a face to the voice by having them create a virtual avatar through custom computer software. Then Leff talked to the patients through the on-screen avatars.


Avatars Made By Patients via BBC

At first, he told the BBC, he tries to make the patients realize the voices, like the avatars, aren’t real: "I encourage the patient saying, ’you mustn’t put up with this, you must tell the avatar that what he or she is saying is nonsense, you don’t believe these things, he or she must go away, leave you alone, you don’t need this kind of torment.’" After that, the voice, through Leff, says he or she will leave the patient be, and asks for ways to help improve the patient’s life. This went on through six sessions.

The group originally had 26 patients: 14 of those got the avatar therapy right from the start, while 12 received anti-psychotics and, later, were offered the virtual therapy. But only 16 made it through the full treatment--the voices told several of them to drop out. The majority of those who made it through, though, heard the voices less. Three of the patients, the researchers reported, even stopped hearing the voices completely.

That’s an intriguing finding (and one that complements other research well), but it’s also not a huge sample size. So coming next month is another trial, this time with 142 patients.

[...]

Read the full article at: popsci.com



Related Articles
Why Do Schizophrenics Hear Voices?
Hear Voices? It May Be an Ad
Colorado gunman was ’hearing voices’
B vitamins might help some with schizophrenia
New ’100% accurate’ test diagnoses schizophrenics simply by checking their gaze
Causal Multiplicity: The Science Behind Schizophrenia
Creative minds "mimic schizophrenia"


Latest News from our Front Page

Immigrants in Hungary Head to German Border on Government Buses and Walking on Foot
2015-09-04 22:50
Footage showed migrants — frustrated with the Hungarian authorities, who have blocked their way by rail — starting the walk from Budapest toward Germany. Others remained in a standoff with the police. Budapest - After a day of defiance by increasingly desperate refugees, the government of Hungary metaphorically threw up its hands Friday and offered to bus thousands of migrants to ...
Generation P. Russia awaken!
2015-09-04 21:02
From Youtube description: The first Russian cult film of the new millenium Watch a preview here: Source: youtube.com
Blonde Parade in Latvia
2015-09-04 21:04
Youtube description: Hundreds of blonde Latvian women marched through the streets of Riga to to lift nation's economy. Source: youtube.com
Shocking: Young Girls Convulse On The Floor After HPV Shot
2015-09-04 20:49
Video appears to show widespread adverse reaction to Gardasil vaccine Shocking video posted to Facebook shows a group of young girls convulsing on the floor after reportedly taking the Gardisil vaccine somewhere in Bolivia. Source: infowars.com
White Women Are Getting Fed Up
2015-09-03 23:09
White women speak out against the claim that "White women have things so much easier than every other people." This video has been flagged as "inappropriate" by Youtube: Don't miss the Radio 3Fourteen interview with Lana, Sinead and Megan.
More News »