Researchers managed to relieve the symptoms of people suffering from social anxiety using innovative musical reward technology, with a success rate similar to that of treating the disorder with psychiatric medicine Cipralex.

The researchers report that 50 percent of participating patients found relief using gaze-contingent music reward therapy (GC-MRT), as reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

In the study, 105 Israeli adults with social anxiety disorder were assigned into three groups: one group treated with Cipralex; a second group treated with GC-MRT; and a control group.

“The therapy we developed is based on eye-tracking combined with a musical reward,” explains Prof. Yair Bar-Haim from Tel Aviv University, who led the study. “The patients choose the music they would like to hear – Israeli, classical, hip-hop, etc., and are shown a simulation of a crowd on a computer screen.”

Usually, he said, individuals with social anxiety disorder tend to

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