Researchers say virtual reality could help diagnose schizophrenia

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"Jerusalem, Israel - 28 January, 2008
1. Wide of students walking
2. Mid of sign reading ""School of engineering and computer science""
3. Set up of Dr Anna Sorkin and Dr Avi Peled walking into room
4. Close of virtual reality game on screen
5. Mid of Dr Peled with Head Mount Display (HMD) facing game
6. SOUNDBITE: (English) Dr Anna Sorkin, Hebrew University (audio partly overlaid with video)
""In the experiment the subject navigates into the virtual world which resembles his regular world very much. He goes through neighbourhoods some shopping streets and a street market. He encounters three types of incoherent events colour, location and sound.""
7. Pan from screen to Dr Peled with Head Mount Display (HMD)
8. SOUNDBITE: (English) Dr Avi Peled, Technion Technological Institute
""OK this is another example of visual and auditory modality disintegration. Here we see someone playing the guitar and we hear a trumpet. And this is incoherent in the environment. Normal people don't have any problem distinguishing between that, but schizophrenic patients when they have a problem of integration between auditory and visual modalities, they will not be able to detect this incoherency and this will be diagnostic for the patient.""
9. Close of Dr Sorkin looking at computer screen
10. SOUNDBITE: (English) Dr Anna Sorkin, Hebrew University (audio partly overlaid with video)
""Our task is a very simple task. Any healthy subject detects problems in the environment immediately for example a purple passing line or a red cloud, this seems a very trivial task so it is even surprising why schizophrenia patients fail this task.""
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Avi Peled, Technion Technological Institute
""One of the problems facing psychiatry today is the diagnosis which is a descriptive diagnosis system, and it has, there is a big problem having to diagnosis people in a descriptive way, symptoms and signs. What we are trying to do here, we are trying to create an objective diagnostic system for psychiatry using this technology. With this technology we can put the patients into situations and we can sample his reactions, and using these reactions we can start to elaborate a more objective real time diagnostic system.""
12. Various of Dr Sorkin looking at game
13. Mid of Dr Peled looking at game with HMD
14. SOUNDBITE: (English) Dr Avi Peled, Technion Technological Institute
""In this example we can see a more subtle incoherency between auditory and visual modalities. Different degrees of incoherencies gives us a scale of different degrees of problems in the brain of these patients, and this way we can measure the severity of the schizophrenic phenomena.""
15. Close of virtual reality game on screen
Tel Hashomer (near Tel Aviv) - 29 January, 2008
16. Set up of Dr Mark Weiser sitting at desk
16. Close of books
17. SOUNDBITE: (English) Dr Mark Weiser, Chief psychiatrist, Chaim Sheba Medical Centre
18. Wide of Tel Hashomer psychiatry department interior
Scientists in Jerusalem have developed a test they claim may change the way schizophrenic patients are diagnosed.
The interactive test, based around a Virtual Reality game, gives the scientists an opportunity to test a patient's cognitive brain functions.
People who are diagnosed with schizophrenia often experience cognitive problems, relating to the mental processes of perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning.
A team of Israeli scientists say that a new Virtual Reality (VR) technique can help identify patients who don't identify discrepancies when presented with a virtual world where dogs 'moo' or clouds are red.
Patients wear a set of goggles, also known as a Head Mounted Display (HMD), which gives them a three-dimensional view of their environment.

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"I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in my early twenties. I have a university degree, I am self employed as a writer, and artist and engaged to a girl I met at uni. I live independently."


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