May 30, 2013 | Ling

It's hard for me to connect with someone until I've put a face to a name. Perhaps people who have schizophrenia feel the same about the disembodied voices they hear.

In a recent clinical trial, patients were asked to create avatar faces to match the voices they heard. Using these avatars, the researchers coached the patients to 'stand up' to the voices. After the treatment, some heard less from their voices, while others stopped hearing them altogether.

And I thought avatars were just for video games and socialising online.

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The avatar therapy trial targeted patients who do not respond to medication.

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Image: Makies

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