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[2019/01/31] Using an iPad to Help the Diagnosis of Mental Diseases Has Resulted in Medical Student Lin Receiving a Research Opportunity in Canada

Lin has received the opportunity twice to study in Canada with Professor Georg Northoff (left)


Yu-Xiu Lin, a medical student at National Yang-Ming University, has been invited by Canada Research Chair in Mind, Brain Imaging and Neuroethics, Professor Georg Northoff, to study at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre because of his passion for using illustrations to help the treatment of mental diseases. Using an iPad drawing application, he has designed a prototype app for the diagnosis of mental diseases using a combination of painting and medicine./font>


Professor Northoff is a pioneer in the study of neurophilosophy worldwide. He is not only a psychiatrist, but also has a Ph.D in philosophy. His research focuses on the detection of objective mental diseases from the point of view of a subjective mind. Lin, with his passion in the area of art therapy, has been invited twice to study at Northoff’s laboratory.


During his stay in Canada, Lin developed a prototype for the diagnosis of schizophrenia using illustration


At present, diagnoses of mental illnesses still depend on the patients’ behavior; in the past few years, there has been an effort to obtain access to the inner mind, but to be able to understand a patient’s mind has always been challenging. As a result of this change in approach, some scholars have proposed that painting may be a way by which patients are able to project themselves. During Lin’s stay in Canada, he designed a set of painting modules using iPad's drawing software. By measuring the changes in the area of the canvas and comparing this with electroencephalography data, he developed a prototype approach to diagnosing schizophrenia. This has become a very valuable study area in the field of neurophilosophy. Lin then returned back to Taiwan and is now undertaking his internship at a hospital. His long-term goal is to confirm the connection between painting and self, and to develop a set of painting modules that are able to assist physicians with clinical diagnosis.


In order to cultivate interdisciplinary talents that link science and philosophy, National Yang-Ming University cooperates with the Ministry of Education to promote research abroad. In addition to Yu-Xiu Lin, Yan-Ting Lin from the Department of Physics, National Tsing Hua University, and Bo-Wei Lin from the Institute of Philosophy of Mind and Cognition, National Yang-Ming University, have been invited by Professor Northoff to study with him. This means that students in science, engineering and the humanities also have access to medical research as an area of interest.