Movement and perspective-taking as a diagnostic aid for psychosis

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    A feasibility study using movement and perspective-taking as a diagnostic aid for psychosis



  • Contact name

    Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    University of Exeter

  • Identifier

    N/A, N/A

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    0 years, 5 months, 31 days

  • Research summary

    Psychosis is a serious mental illness. People with this illness have better outcomes if they are treated as soon as possible after their first symptom, but it is difficult to tell who is ill or who is most at risk of being ill in the early stages. People with psychosis often have slight differences in movement and also have trouble taking the perspective of other people. There is some evidence that these differences may be present even before their illness starts. These differences may, therefore, be a useful way of knowing how likely it is that they will become ill.

    It is not easy to accurately measure differences in perspective-taking and movement but we have recently developed a test using a computer avatar which can do this. The avatar moves in a certain way and the task is to copy the avatar’s movements. We have only used this test so far on people who have had schizophrenia for several years and found differences when compared to healthy people. However, some of the drugs that we give people for schizophrenia have a side effect that can make them move differently, so we are not sure if the differences that we measured are due to the illness or the drugs.

    We would now like to use the test to find out if people who have recently become ill (first episode psychosis) or are at risk of developing psychosis have the same movement and perspective taking differences. This group of people will either not be taking drugs or will only have been taking low doses for a short time. We will compare their performance to a control group of healthy people who are a similar age.

  • REC name

    South West - Cornwall & Plymouth Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    15 May 2018

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion