Interactive eye tracking for gaze strategy modification
Atypical looking behaviors in neuropsychiatric conditions such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are not only a reflection of inherently abnormal neuropsychological processes, but also suggest that future access to observational learning opportunities may be limited. The work presented in this paper uses interactive eye tracking as a first step towards the development of automated tools that can help toddlers and young children with atypical visual attention learn to attend to social information in a more typical fashion. In our study, we designed an automated visual strategy training system that would redirect a viewers' attention to locations highly salient to the normative control group when the viewer drifted from those locations for a significant period of time. We evaluated our experimental technique on typicallydeveloping adults, obtaining results that suggest that looking patterns can be altered to be more similar to those evidenced by a normative group of young children. Furthermore, these alterations appear be retained in post-training sessions when considering new presentations of videos participants had been trained upon, and, on more sensitive outcome measures based on integrated scanpath probabilities (heatmaps), seemed to generalize presentations not trained upon as well. The development of these techniques may provide a new model for modifying attentional biases not only in toddlers with ASD, but also in children affected by other neuropsychiatric conditions, and may thus lead to new therapeutic interventions as well as more efficacious methods for identifying the patterns associated with abnormal, attention-driven experience. Copyright is held by the owner/author(s).