A computer vision approach for the assessment of autism-related behavioral markers

Conference Paper

The early detection of developmental disorders is key to child outcome, allowing interventions to be initiated that promote development and improve prognosis. Research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) suggests behavioral markers can be observed late in the first year of life. Many of these studies involved extensive frame-by-frame video observation and analysis of a child's natural behavior. Although non-intrusive, these methods are extremely time-intensive and require a high level of observer training; thus, they are impractical for clinical purposes. Diagnostic measures for ASD are available for infants but are only accurate when used by specialists experienced in early diagnosis. This work is a first milestone in a long-term multidisciplinary project that aims at helping clinicians and general practitioners accomplish this early detection/measurement task automatically. We focus on providing computer vision tools to measure and identify ASD behavioral markers based on components of the Autism Observation Scale for Infants (AOSI). In particular, we develop algorithms to measure three critical AOSI activities that assess visual attention. We augment these AOSI activities with an additional test that analyzes asymmetrical patterns in unsupported gait. The first set of algorithms involves assessing head motion by facial feature tracking, while the gait analysis relies on joint foreground segmentation and 2D body pose estimation in video. We show results that provide insightful knowledge to augment the clinician's behavioral observations obtained from real in-clinic assessments. © 2012 IEEE.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hashemi, J; Spina, TV; Tepper, M; Esler, A; Morellas, V; Papanikolopoulos, N; Sapiro, G

Published Date

  • December 1, 2012

Published In

  • 2012 Ieee International Conference on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics, Icdl 2012

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781467349635

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1109/DevLrn.2012.6400865

Citation Source

  • Scopus