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A System To Measure Physiological Response During Social Interaction In VR For Children With ASD

Karla Conn Welch, Uttama Lahiri, Zachary E. Warren, Nilanjan Sarkar

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This chapter presents work aimed at investigating interactions between virtual reality (VR) and children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using physiological sensing of affective cues. The research objectives are two-fold: 1) develop VR-based social communication tasks and integrate them into the physiological signal acquisition module to enable the capture of one's physiological responses in a time-synchronized manner during participation in the task and 2) conduct a pilot usability study to evaluate a VR-based social interaction system that induces an affective response in ASD and typically developing (TD) individuals by using a physiology-based approach. Physiological results suggest there is a different physiological response in the body in relation to the reported level of the affective states. The preliminary results from a matched pair of participants could provide valuable information about specific affect-eliciting aspects of social communication, and this feedback could drive individualized interventions that scaffold skills and improve social wellbeing.