An application of eye tracking technology to detect attention bias for suicide related stimuli

Abstract: Suicide is a leading cause of mortality world-wide, accounting for 1.4% of annual deaths. Traditional risk factors, self-report questionnaires, and clinical interviews have limited predictive validity for short-term suicide attempts. Studies using behavioral measures like the Suicide Implicit Association Test (S-IAT) to detect automatic and unconscious preference towards suicide related stimuli have demonstrated unique positive predictive value in high-risk psychiatric inpatients. While the S-IAT is a major step forward in suicide risk assessment, there are still significant limitations in our ability to predict short-term suicide attempts. We have developed a multi-modal behavioral assessment protocol to assess risk with high predictive value using eye tracking technology intended to augment the S-IAT and traditional assessment tools. Results from our pilot study indicate eye tracking may be a feasible and valid technology for suicide risk prediction.


  • Suicide
  • Eye Tracking
  • Attention
  • Prevention

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