A research team has found that a special video game could help those struggling with voices in their heads to get control of their brains.
Schizophrenia is a terrifying mental disorder, with patients constantly bombarded with hallucinations and voices in their heads, but an innovative new method developed by researchers at King’s College London could offer hope to sufferers. Scientists were able to use a special computer game that was hooked up to the brains of schizophrenics to enable them to control their brains better.
In the small study, which included a dozen patients suffering from daily hallucinatory events, researchers hooked the auditory cortex of their brains to an fRMI, allowing them to control a rocket in a video game. The patients were instructed to safely land the rocket, but were not told how to do so.
Patients were able to develop their own strategies of landing the rocket, and the research team is hopeful that this will allow them to take control of their brains when hallucinations begin to start. It’s an important discovery that could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of schizophrenia and other mental disorders.
“For the first time, new research shows people with schizophrenia can train themselves to control brain regions linked to verbal hallucinations, using an MRI scanner and a computerised rocket game,” reads the statement from King’s College London. “The pilot study by researchers at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) and the University of Roehampton suggests the new technique might help patients who don’t respond to medication learn to control their symptoms.”