Psychology Today March 26, 2023
Srini Pillay M.D.

Why an augmenter of good health may lie outside ourselves.


  • An avatar can help us live healthier when we imitate, embody, or learn from it.
  • Avatars are helpful for stroke, cerebral palsy, and autism.
  • Avatars help mental health by removing barriers to self and social exploration.

Avatars are graphical representations of users in mediated environments such as the metaverse.1 While the avatar is clearly a digital representation, the psychological boundary between the user and the digital symbol can become progressively dissolved as the avatar follows the user’s instructions.

If the user wants the avatar to walk, the avatar will. If the avatar speaks to another avatar using the...

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