A Virtual Reality Driving Environment for Training Safe Gaze Patterns: Application in Individuals with ASD
It has been well established that adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) present social and behavioral characteristics that differ significantly from those of their peers without ASD. A growing number of recent studies have begun to look closely at automobile operation characteristics in individuals diagnosed with ASD. Some of this work has suggested that certain driving behaviors demonstrated by those with ASD may pose significant safety concerns to both themselves and other drivers. Expanding on previous work, we designed and tested a gaze-contingent driving intervention system in which drivers were required to not only perform well, but also to look at key regions of interest in the environment such as traffic lights, stop signs, pedestrians and side-view mirrors. We present preliminary results from a study comparing performance outcomes and eye gaze patterns in a group using the gaze-contingent system and a group using a gaze-insensitive, performance-based system.
KeywordsVirtual reality Eye gaze Autism intervention
This work was supported in part by the National Institute of Health Grant 1R01MH091102-01A1, National Science Foundation Grant 0967170 and the Hobbs Society Grant from the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center.
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