Yale Research Uses Game Prototype to Measure Anxiety

In 2013, we wrote about how Drs. Eli R. Lebowitz and Frederick Shic at the Yale Child Study Center were awarded a NARSAD Grant by the Brain and Behavior Foundation – one of the highest distinctions in the field of mental health research – for a study using a motion controlled game prototype developed by PreviewLabs.

Meanwhile, the results of the study, conducted with 86 children (aged 7-17), have been published by the Wiley Online Library in Anxiety & Depression, the official journal of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).

To quote the study:

We employed a novel motion-tracking experimentation platform to test the hypothesis that mothers’ behavioral avoidance of spiders moderates the association between fear of spiders in mothers and children.

While playing, test subjects with fear of spiders moved left and right in the room in order to catch falling objects shown on a screen. Meanwhile, both anxiety-provoking spider images and neutral images could be shown at the sides of the screen. By analyzing the player movement recorded by the prototype, the researchers were able to measure the level of avoidance.

A participant engaging in the study (A); and what the participant sees on the screen (B).

A participant engaging in the YIKES behavioral avoidance task (A); and what the participant sees on the screen (B).

The study concluded that behavioral avoidance can be measured using the motion-tracking platform and can be useful in understanding the links between symptoms of anxiety in mothers and children.

We’re proud to have contributed to this study, and hope it will allow other researchers to come up with new findings on anxiety disorders and inspire new forms of treatment.

One thought on “Yale Research Uses Game Prototype to Measure Anxiety”

  1. Tony B Nelson says:

    Your prototype and clients findings should benefit all concerned

    By addressing the affects inherited from Mother to Child as it relates emotional sciences can only help .
    Great work



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