In 2013, 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).
The study 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.
PreviewLabs is proud to have contributed to this study and hopes this project will allow other researchers to come up with new findings on anxiety disorders and inspire new forms of treatment.