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

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

Sand Pirates: ISIS Are America’s 21st Century Terrorist Privateers
2014 11 01
What is ISIS? If you believe govt and corporate propaganda, you still think that ISIS is a grassroots Islamic ideological movement ¨C and with no connection to intelligence agencies like America¡¯s CIA, Britain¡¯s MI6, Turkish (NATO) intelligence, Saudi intelligence, Israeli intelligence, or Pakistan¡¯s ISI. The reality of ISIS is something altogether different¡­ On closer inspection, these marauding paramilitary ISIS gangs are nothing ...
Ancient Stone Circles in Mideast Baffle Archaeologists
2014 11 01
Huge stone circles in the Middle East have been imaged from above, revealing details of structures that have been shrouded in mystery for decades. The Big Circle called J1 is about 390 meters (1,280 feet) in diameter, with an open area created by bulldozing in its interior. Credit: David L. Kennedy, copyright is retained by the Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology ...
Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation" The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola. The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
More News »