Investigating the Influence of Avatar Facial Characteristics on the Social Behaviors of Children with Autism
Elizabeth Carter, Jennifer Hyde, Diane Williams, Jessica Hodgins
Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (May 12, 2016)
teaser

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by unusual social communication and interaction. These traits are often targets for intervention, particularly computer-based interventions (CBIs). We examined whether interactive behaviors in children with autism could be influenced by modifying the facial characteristics of computer avatars and how behavior toward avatars compared to that toward video. Participants spoke with a therapist over a modified videoconferencing system that permitted manipulation of her appearance (i.e., using cartoon or more realistic avatars versus video) and motion (i.e., exaggerating or damping facial movements). We measured the participants' speech, gaze, and gestures. In the first study, we found that the appearance complexity of the avatar did not significantly affect any social interaction behaviors. However, the results of the second study suggest that exaggerated facial motion can improve nonverbal social behaviors, such as gaze and gesture. These findings have implications for character design in CBIs for ASD.

Elizabeth Carter, Jennifer Hyde, Diane Williams, Jessica Hodgins (May 12, 2016). Investigating the Influence of Avatar Facial Characteristics on the Social Behaviors of Children with Autism. Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

@article{Hodgins:2017:DOE,
author={Elizabeth Carter, Jennifer Hyde, Diane Williams, Jessica Hodgins},
title={Investigating the Influence of Avatar Facial Characteristics on the Social Behaviors of Children with Autism},
journal={Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems},
year={May 12, 2016},
links={http://delivery.acm.org/10.1145/2860000/2858345/p140-carter.pdf?ip=128.2.194.73&id=2858345&acc=ACTIVE%20SERVICE&key=A792924B58C015C1%2E5A12BE0369099858%2E4D4702B0C3E38B35%2E4D4702B0C3E38B35&CFID=996661638&CFTOKEN=90577862&__acm__=1508428057_25834069bde3c581bc2f707ccacf0c99}