An iPhone app, known as iDichotic, places psychological testing at your
fingertips, yielding results as reliable as lab tests, says a new study.
listening, a lab test, indicates which side of the brain is most active
during language processing. The iPhone app was launched in 2011.
found that the results from the app were as reliable as those of
controlled laboratory tests," says Josef Bless, doctoral researcher in
psychology, University of Bergen, the journal Frontiers in Psychology
"This means that smartphones can be used as a tool for
psychological testing, opening up a wealth of exciting new
possibilities," adds Bless. Two years ago, Bless was listening to music
on his phone when he suddenly had an idea, according to a Bergen
"I noticed that the sounds of the different instruments
were distributed differently between the ears, and it struck me that
this was very similar to the tests we routinely use in our lab to
measure brain function," says Bless,
More than 1,000 people have
downloaded the app, and roughly half have sent their test results to the
researchers' database. The researchers analysed the first 167 results
they received and compared them with the results of 76 individuals
tested in labs in Norway and Australia.
Researchers have also
developed a special version of iDichotic for patients with schizophrenia
who suffer from auditory hallucinations (hearing voices). The app helps
in training patients to improve their focus, so that when they hear
voices, they are better able to shut them out.
The app iDichotic has been developed in collaboration with Kenneth Hugdahl, Rene Westerhausen and Magne Gudmundsen.