Psychology & Psychiatry

Interactive avatar boosts performance of children with ADHD

A new study has shown that an interactive avatar, which gives both instructions and feedback on the attention of the learner, can improve the performance of ADHD children on a complex problem-solving task. Researchers concluded ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Mentally ill avatars

Medical students at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) will have the opportunity to conduct psychiatric interviews with avatars in future. "This will enable them to practise with patients presenting the full range of symptoms ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Better apps might improve health, study finds

Ever wondered why after a while you got tired of using that weight loss or meditation app on your phone? For Max Birk, a University of Saskatchewan recent Ph.D. graduate, the answer could be that you need a customizable avatar ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Using virtual reality could make you a better person in real life

If you've ever participated in a virtual reality (VR) experience, you might have found yourself navigating the virtual world as an avatar. If you haven't, you probably recognise the experience from its portrayal in film and ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Computer avatars play a part in dementia detection

Diagnosis of dementia is made via cognitive function tests such as the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and medical imaging systems at hospitals, a fairly large system for the purpose. As the population ages, an increasing ...

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Avatar

In Hinduism, an avatar (English: /ˈæv.ə.tɑːr/, from Sanskrit avatāra, अवतार in the Devanagari script, meaning "descent") is a deliberate descent of a deity to earth, or a descent of the Supreme Being (i.e., Vishnu for Vaishnavites) and is mostly translated into English as "incarnation," but more accurately as "appearance" or "manifestation".

The term is most often associated with Vishnu, though it has also come to be associated with other deities. Varying lists of avatars of Vishnu appear in Hindu scriptures, including the ten Dashavatara of the Garuda Purana and the twenty-two avatars in the Bhagavata Purana, though the latter adds that the incarnations of Vishnu are innumerable. The avatars of Vishnu are a primary component of Vaishnavism. An early reference to avatar, and to avatar doctrine, is in the Bhagavad Gita.

Shiva and Ganesha are also described as descending in the form of avatars. The various manifestations of Devi, the Divine Mother principal in Hinduism, are also described as avatars or incarnations by some scholars and followers of Shaktism. The avatars of Vishnu carry a greater theological prominence than those of other deities, which some scholars perceive to be imitative of the Vishnu avatar lists.

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