Computer Games Help Autistic Children Read FacesBy Roth, Mark; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Publication Date: September 27, 2010
Article discusses the use of specially developed computer games to improve face recognition and facial expression interpretation in children with autism. Based on a study conducted by scientists at the University of Victoria in British Columbia and colleagues at Yale University revealing that children with autism had problems identifying faces in certain situations, Let's Face It! (http://web.uvic.ca/~letsface/letsfaceit) is a computerized program developed to improve face reading for this population. A subsequent study with 42 children with autism who received 20 hours of training with the program showed that it created modest improvement in their face recognition abilities. Further development of the computer program described includes the inclusion of a web camera to allow interaction with icons on the screen and the addition of interactive games that involve mimicking of facial expressions such as smiling and frowning of computer creatures in order to make them disappear or corral them and thus gather points. A different approach to face recognition training is taken at Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, where a scientist is using “greebles,” computer figures that look somewhat like faceless Gremlins, as a less threatening substitute for human faces that may appeal to autistic children’s affection for cartoon characters.
Published by: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Website:http://www.post-gazette.com)
Link to text: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10270/1090682-51.stm