Recent research shows that video games minimize verbal hallucinations in Schizophrenics.

The pilot study carried out by researchers from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience and the University of Roehampton targeted 12 patients suffering from schizophrenia. Patients played a video game and were tasked to land a computerized rocket. The game engaged the speech-sensitive part of the brain. During the video game, each patient underwent MRI scanning to monitor their mental activity. In the process, patients paid less attention to voices around them hence reduced hallucinations.

Schizophrenia patients present an overactive auditory cortex. Voices and sounds are highly audible to such patients to the point of giving them severe hallucinations and paranoia. Some schizophrenia patients hardly respond to the medication given to them. Therefore, video games could assist in containing their delusions.

Dr. Natasza Orlov pinpointed that Schizophrenia patients sensed and anticipated incoming voices and that the use of video games could help minimize or bring the problem of hallucinations to a halt. Professor Sukhi Shergill from the King’s College stated that the technique would benefit patients at home.

Since the study is just in the initial stage, a confirmation of the study will be required. Plans are underway to carry out a controlled study in a broader sample.

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