Computer Vision Analysis for Quantification of Autism Risk Behaviors


Journal Article

IEEE Observational behavior analysis plays a key role for the discovery and evaluation of risk markers for many neurodevelopmental disorders. Research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) suggests that behavioral risk markers can be observed at 12 months of age, with diagnosis possible at 18 months. To date, studies and evaluations involving observational analysis tend to rely heavily on clinical practitioners and specialists who have undergone intensive training to be able to reliably administer carefully designed behavioral-eliciting tasks, code the resulting behaviors, and interpret them. These methods are therefore extremely expensive, time-intensive, and are not easily scalable for large or longitudinal observational analysis. We developed a self-contained, closed-loop, mobile application with movie stimuli designed to engage the child's attention and elicit specific behavioral and social responses, which are recorded with the mobile device's camera and analyzed via computer vision algorithms. Here, in addition to presenting this paradigm, we validate the system to measure engagement, name-call, and emotional responses of toddlers with and without ASD who were presented with the application. Additionally, we demonstrate how the proposed framework can further risk marker research with fine-grained quantification of behaviors. The results suggest these objective and automatic methods can be considered to aid behavioral analysis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hashemi, J; Dawson, G; Carpenter, KLH; Campbell, K; Qiu, Q; Espinosa, S; Marsan, S; Baker, JP; Egger, HL; Sapiro, G

Published Date

  • August 31, 2018

Published In

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1949-3045

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1109/TAFFC.2018.2868196

Citation Source

  • Scopus