Social Communication between Virtual Characters and Children with Autism

  • Alyssa Alcorn
  • Helen Pain
  • Gnanathusharan Rajendran
  • Tim Smith
  • Oliver Lemon
  • Kaska Porayska-Pomsta
  • Mary Ellen Foster
  • Katerina Avramides
  • Christopher Frauenberger
  • Sara Bernardini
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-21869-9_4

Volume 6738 of the book series Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)
Cite this paper as:
Alcorn A. et al. (2011) Social Communication between Virtual Characters and Children with Autism. In: Biswas G., Bull S., Kay J., Mitrovic A. (eds) Artificial Intelligence in Education. AIED 2011. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 6738. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

Abstract

Children with ASD have difficulty with social communication, particularly joint attention. Interaction in a virtual environment (VE) may be a means for both understanding these difficulties and addressing them. It is first necessary to discover how this population interacts with virtual characters, and whether they can follow joint attention cues in a VE. This paper describes a study in which 32 children with ASD used the ECHOES VE to assist a virtual character in selecting objects by following the character’s gaze and/or pointing. Both accuracy and reaction time data suggest that children were able to successfully complete the task, and qualitative data further suggests that most children perceived the character as an intentional being with relevant, mutually directed behaviour.

Keywords

autism spectrum disorder virtual environment virtual character joint attention social communication technology-enhanced learning HCI 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alyssa Alcorn
    • 1
  • Helen Pain
    • 2
  • Gnanathusharan Rajendran
    • 3
  • Tim Smith
    • 4
  • Oliver Lemon
    • 1
  • Kaska Porayska-Pomsta
    • 5
  • Mary Ellen Foster
    • 1
  • Katerina Avramides
    • 5
  • Christopher Frauenberger
    • 6
  • Sara Bernardini
    • 5
  1. 1.Heriot Watt UniversityUK
  2. 2.University of EdinburghUK
  3. 3.Strathclyde UniversityUK
  4. 4.Birkbeck CollegeUK
  5. 5.London Knowledge LabUK
  6. 6.University of SussexUK