Avatars may help to control 'voices' in young people with schizophrenia

The Guardian has reported on a recent study of 16 young people diagnosed with schizophrenia. They were asked to create 'avatars' (such as those on the right) of the voices they heard using a computer. These avatars were to represent the voices in a human form. 

When they were animated by a therapist, the idea is that the young people could challenge them. The overall aim is tolearn to take control of hearing voices in any situation.

The study found that almost all of the patients saw a reduction in how often they heard voices; 3 of them stopped hearing them all together. This study was a pilot of wider research at University College London.