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J. Imaging 2018, 4(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/jimaging4010009

An Ecological Visual Exploration Tool to Support the Analysis of Visual Processing Pathways in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

1
Interdisciplinary Centre for Security Reliability and Trust (SnT), University of Luxembourg, 29, Avenue JF Kennedy, L-1855 Luxembourg, Luxembourg
2
Institute of Applied Sciences and Intelligence Systems—CNR, 73100 Lecce, Italy
3
Department of Clinical Physiology, CNR Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy
4
Institute of Applied Sciences and Intelligence Systems—CNR, 98164 Messina, Italy
5
Universidad Nacional del Sur, 8000 Bahía Blanca, Argentina
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 November 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 29 December 2017
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Abstract

Recent improvements in the field of assistive technologies have led to innovative solutions aiming at increasing the capabilities of people with disability, helping them in daily activities with applications that span from cognitive impairments to developmental disabilities. In particular, in the case of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the need to obtain active feedback in order to extract subsequently meaningful data becomes of fundamental importance. In this work, a study about the possibility of understanding the visual exploration in children with ASD is presented. In order to obtain an automatic evaluation, an algorithm for free (i.e., without constraints, nor using additional hardware, infrared (IR) light sources or other intrusive methods) gaze estimation is employed. Furthermore, no initial calibration is required. It allows the user to freely rotate the head in the field of view of the sensor, and it is insensitive to the presence of eyeglasses, hats or particular hairstyles. These relaxations of the constraints make this technique particularly suitable to be used in the critical context of autism, where the child is certainly not inclined to employ invasive devices, nor to collaborate during calibration procedures.The evaluation of children’s gaze trajectories through the proposed solution is presented for the purpose of an Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) program built on the child’s spontaneous interests and game choice delivered in a natural setting. View Full-Text
Keywords: assistive computer vision; activity recognition; affective computing assistive computer vision; activity recognition; affective computing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Cazzato, D.; Leo, M.; Distante, C.; Crifaci, G.; Bernava, G.M.; Ruta, L.; Pioggia, G.; Castro, S.M. An Ecological Visual Exploration Tool to Support the Analysis of Visual Processing Pathways in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. J. Imaging 2018, 4, 9.

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