Computer games have recently shown promise as a diagnostic and treatment tool for psychiatric rehabilitation. This paper examines the positive impact of affect detection and advanced game technology on the treatment of mental diagnoses such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For that purpose, we couple game design and game technology with stress detection for the automatic profiling and the personalized treatment of PTSD via game-based exposure therapy and stress inoculation training. The PTSD treatment game we designed forces the player to go through various stressful experiences while a stress detection mechanism profiles the severity and type of PTSD via skin conductance responses to those in-game stress elicitors. The initial study and analysis of 14 PTSD-diagnosed veteran soldiers presented in this paper reveals clear correspondence between diagnostic standard measures of PTSD severity and skin conductance responses. Significant correlations between physiological responses and subjective evaluations of the stressfulness of experiences, represented as pairwise preferences, are also found. We conclude that this supports the use of the simulation as a relevant treatment tool for stress inoculation training. This points to future avenues of research toward discerning between degrees and types of PTSD using game-based diagnostic and treatment tools.
Title of host publication
IEEE 2013 Humaine Association Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII)
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