Presentation Title

An Eye-Tracking Approach to Measure the Engagement of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Speaker Credentials

Assistant Professor

Speaker Credentials

Ph.D.

College

College of Nursing

Location

Nova Southeastern University, Davie, Florida, USA

Format

Podium Presentation

Start Date

21-2-2020 8:30 AM

End Date

21-2-2020 4:00 PM

Abstract

An Eye-Tracking Approach to Measure the Engagement of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Gesulla Cavanaugh, Ph.D., Director of Research, College of Nursing Cristina Llerena Law, PhD, Associate Professor, College of Optometry Vanessa Johnson, PhD, Associate Professor, College of Health Care Sciences Leanne Boucher, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Nurit Sheinberg, Ed.D., Director of Research and Evaluation, Mailman Segal Center for Human Development Terry Morrow Nelson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, College of Health Care Sciences Mark A Epstein, MD, Director of Brain Development Network Program, Nicklaus Children's Hospital Objective. To examine gaze behavior measurements of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in comparison to neurotypical children in response to human-animal interaction stimuli. Background. Successful social interactions require that individuals are aware of another’s intentions to make the correct prediction. The ability to understand others’ intentions and make the correct prediction is highly correlated with the ability to demonstrate emotion or arousal, in which observing both can be captured with eye-tracking data. Children with an ASD lack sufficient abilities to engage with others. However, the literature suggests that a pet can serve as an aid to teach certain skills, including social skills which help connect with others. Methods. Neurotypical children and children with ASD were recruited from the public and from CARD-UM-NSU, Mailman Segal Center, and Nicklaus Children’s hospital. Data were collected using the Tobii Pro Nano to measure eye movement. Autism risk was assessed with the M-CHAT tool. The Tobii Pro Nano lab was used to analyze imaging eye-tracking data and IBM SPSS V 26.1 was used to analyze the numerical data. Results. Children with ASD respond positively to a friendly dog similar to children with neurotypical development. Gaze fixation data suggest that children with ASD understand the animal’s toy preference. Conclusion. Children with ASD can form relationships with a pet to improve social interaction skills. These findings provide evidence crucial to understanding the impact of pet therapy on the social behaviors of children with ASD. Grants. Funded by the President’s Quality of Life Grant FY 2019.

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Feb 21st, 8:30 AM Feb 21st, 4:00 PM

An Eye-Tracking Approach to Measure the Engagement of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Nova Southeastern University, Davie, Florida, USA

An Eye-Tracking Approach to Measure the Engagement of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Gesulla Cavanaugh, Ph.D., Director of Research, College of Nursing Cristina Llerena Law, PhD, Associate Professor, College of Optometry Vanessa Johnson, PhD, Associate Professor, College of Health Care Sciences Leanne Boucher, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Nurit Sheinberg, Ed.D., Director of Research and Evaluation, Mailman Segal Center for Human Development Terry Morrow Nelson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, College of Health Care Sciences Mark A Epstein, MD, Director of Brain Development Network Program, Nicklaus Children's Hospital Objective. To examine gaze behavior measurements of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in comparison to neurotypical children in response to human-animal interaction stimuli. Background. Successful social interactions require that individuals are aware of another’s intentions to make the correct prediction. The ability to understand others’ intentions and make the correct prediction is highly correlated with the ability to demonstrate emotion or arousal, in which observing both can be captured with eye-tracking data. Children with an ASD lack sufficient abilities to engage with others. However, the literature suggests that a pet can serve as an aid to teach certain skills, including social skills which help connect with others. Methods. Neurotypical children and children with ASD were recruited from the public and from CARD-UM-NSU, Mailman Segal Center, and Nicklaus Children’s hospital. Data were collected using the Tobii Pro Nano to measure eye movement. Autism risk was assessed with the M-CHAT tool. The Tobii Pro Nano lab was used to analyze imaging eye-tracking data and IBM SPSS V 26.1 was used to analyze the numerical data. Results. Children with ASD respond positively to a friendly dog similar to children with neurotypical development. Gaze fixation data suggest that children with ASD understand the animal’s toy preference. Conclusion. Children with ASD can form relationships with a pet to improve social interaction skills. These findings provide evidence crucial to understanding the impact of pet therapy on the social behaviors of children with ASD. Grants. Funded by the President’s Quality of Life Grant FY 2019.