Is it all in the eyes?

Is it all in the eyes?

Can eye movements diagnose psychiatric disorders like depression or schizophrenia?

Dr Philip Benson, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Aberdeen will discuss his exciting new research into this potential new diagnostic tool at tomorrow’s Café Scientifique. 

Dr Benson and his team developed the test in the hope that it can one day be used in hospitals to diagnose conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia which with current techniques, can take up to 10 years to diagnose.

Dr Benson said: “In spite of promising but as-yet unfulfilled advances in brain imaging and genetics, the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders can take several years.   I’m hoping that this novel cost-effective eye tracking test will offer much needed assistance early in the diagnostic process and an objective test result like this one could remove or reduce uncertainty and provide patients with reassurance about diagnosis and treatment options.

“Our research suggests this test is a realistic and exciting proposition and recently we’ve formed a company to speed up development of the test into a practical option for Psychiatry to sit alongside information obtained during clinical consultations.

“If eye tracking proves its worth in NHS field trials then routine use in secondary care should become a real possibility.”

The ‘Eye movements and mental health’ event is part of the University of Aberdeen’s popular Cafe Scientifique series which is hosted by the University’s Public Engagement with Research Unit. The Café Scientifique series, invites leading experts to share the latest in scientific research with the public in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. This is set to be an informal and inspiring night aimed at the general public with plenty of time for questions. The event will be held at 7pm in Waterstones on Wednesday 17 August and is free to attend.

Full details of the series and other events in the University’s wider programme can be found at