Diagnosing schizophrenia? Try VR game
Virtual reality (VR) could help in early diagnosis of schizophrenia, a new study claims.
Researchers from England's University of Exeter and the EU-funded AlterEgo project have created a "mirror game" based in VR, reported the Daily Mail.
As part of the study, the researchers told volunteers to perform specific movements before mirroring those carried out by an avatar in the VR world.
The results, which have been published in scientific journal npj Schizophrenia, claim the mirror test gives a more accurate and early diagnosis than clinical interviews and are comparable to neuro-imaging tests.
Previous research suggested that while each of us has an individual motor signature - subtle differences in the way we move - people with similar behavioural characteristics tend to move in similar ways.
This was applied to the mirror test, where volunteers' movements were compared with those of schizophrenia sufferers to spot any similarities and potentially offer an early diagnosis.