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Sensing interpersonal synchrony between actors and autistic children in theatre using wrist-worn accelerometers

Ward, JA; Richardson, D; Orgs, G; Hunter, K; Hamilton, A; (2018) Sensing interpersonal synchrony between actors and autistic children in theatre using wrist-worn accelerometers. In: Kunze, Kai and Balan, Rajesh K and Lee, Youngki, (eds.) Proceedings of the 2018 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC '18). (pp. pp. 148-155). ACM (Association for Computing Machinery): New York, NY, USA. Green open access

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Abstract

We introduce a method of using wrist-worn accelerometers to measure non-verbal social coordination within a group that includes autistic children. Our goal was to record and chart the children's social engagement - measured using interpersonal movement synchrony - as they took part in a theatrical workshop that was specifically designed to enhance their social skills. Interpersonal synchrony, an important factor of social engagement that is known to be impaired in autism, is calculated using a cross-wavelet similarity comparison between participants' movement data. We evaluate the feasibility of the approach over 3 live performances, each lasting 2 hours, using 6 actors and a total of 10 autistic children. We show that by visualising each child's engagement over the course of a performance, it is possible to highlight subtle moments of social coordination that might otherwise be lost when reviewing video footage alone. This is important because it points the way to a new method for people who work with autistic children to be able to monitor the development of those in their care, and to adapt their therapeutic activities accordingly.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Sensing interpersonal synchrony between actors and autistic children in theatre using wrist-worn accelerometers
ISBN-13: 9781450359672
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1145/3267242.3267263
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1145/3267242.3267263
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: wearable sensing; accelerometers; theatre; autism; interpersonal synchrony; cross wavelet
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10054464
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