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View Blog Archive WebSchoolPro Blog > High-Tech Tools Developed to Detect, Study Autism

Category - Technology,Special Ed,Autism
Posted - 09/26/2012 04:06pm
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High-Tech Tools Developed to Detect, Study Autism

High-Tech Tools Developed to Detect, Study Autism

Researchers in Georgia have developed two new tools designed to better understand and detect autism, including a system that uses glasses to track where children look and facial-analysis software to identify when a child makes eye contact with the person wearing the glasses.

That device, developed at Georgia Tech's Center for Behavior Imaging, uses a commercially available pair of glasses that records the focal point of their wearer's gaze. In a study at the school's Child Study Lab, researchers took video of a child captured by a front-facing camera on the glasses, which were worn by an adult interacting with the child. The video was then processed using facial-recognition software. The result is a system able to detect eye contact in an interaction with a 22-month-old with 80 percent accuracy, the university said. Here's a video of what this looks like:

Children at risk for autism often avoid making eye contact. Discovering an automated way to detect this characteristic and other distinct behavioral markers could be a significant step toward scaling autism screening up to much larger populations than those currently reached, Georgia Tech researchers said. Working on this tool and another are the goals of a grant from the National Science Foundation Expeditions program that Georgia Tech received in 2010.

Link to the full text of the article here