A psychopathological study on three-dimensional computer graphics (3DCGs): special reference to pictures made by a schizophrenic patient before and after the onset

Yuko Ashizawa, Hirokazu Tachikawa, Masashi Hori, Takafumi Hori, Katsuyoshi Mizukami, Takashi Asada

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A patient with catatonic type schizophrenia drawing 3-dimensional computer graphics (3DCGs) before and after the onset is reported. His 3DCGs are discussed from the view of psychopathology. A 21-year-old male was admitted to our hospital. He was an art student. For three months before admission, he had been absorbed in drawing 3DCGs. When he was asked to draw handmade pictures by his teacher, he experienced a bizarre mood and took an overdose of aspirin. At the time of admission, he was in a stupor state, and was diagnosed with catatonic type schizophrenia. After admission, he exhibited excitement and disorganized speech. These symptoms disappeared after administration of neuroleptics, and he was discharged. The 3DCGs he drew before and after the onset revealed several special characteristics. First, the compositions of his pictures were too geometric and too precise. Secondly, the themes of his pictures changed from romantic before the onset to symbolic after it, and the styles changed from realistic to abstractive after the onset. Finally, histograms of the 3DCGs revealed many colors before onset, which converged to simple colors after. Therefore, it was suggested that the latent pathological process at the beginning of schizophrenia might be reflected in his 3DCGs. 3DCGs are a new type of fine art. They can express beautiful and cool images more simply than handmade pictures. Due to these features, artists can create images of their innerworld, with less effort and talent than picture drawings, by computer assistance. This case suggests that the geometric working space, change-free viewpoints, and computer assistance, which are characteristics of the methods in making 3DCGs may be suitable for schizophrenic artists to create images of their innerworld. However, being absorbed in making 3DCGs could also promote the latent schizophrenic process to the onset.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1218-1231
Number of pages14
JournalSeishin shinkeigaku zasshi = Psychiatria et neurologia Japonica
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

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