Computer-assisted-avatar-based treatment for depression: a case-control study

  • Virtual avatar and facial expression communication has gained popularity in the field of human-machine interaction. This present study explored the benefits of such a system in people with (n=12) and without (n=15) depression. 
  • Researchers found no difference in interview type (human versus avatar) in facial and emotional expressions, and less negativity toward neutral conversations in people with and without depression. People with and without depression were easily distinguished by differences observed in the virtual avatar system.
  • A virtual avatar system may be a useful tool for early detection and differentiation of symptoms of depression in clinical practice.