Study used game technology to facilitate eye gaze direction among children with autism

A group of researchers at Penn State built an intervention method with the use of game technology to facilitate eye gaze direction among children with autism spectrum disorder.

As it appeared in JCPP Advances: “Perceiving and interpreting eye gaze cues is foundational for social cognition and social interactions because it involves the ability to use eye gaze direction to predict the actions and intentions of others.”

“We hypothesize that targeted intervention methods designed to improve sensitivity to eye gaze cues may begin to treat core symptoms of autism and potentially alter multiple aspects of social functioning.”

The gaming-based intervention designed for the study was named Social Games for Autistic Adolescents (SAGA). During the intervention, the participants of the study moved through a narrative storyline, learning of eye gaze cues and its usefulness in helping to solve problems within it.

“This accessible, scalable, and affordable intervention shows promise as an effective tool for improving the ability to interpret and understand eye gaze cues and social skills in adolescents on the autism spectrum,” the authors determined from the intervention’s use.

Photo: Bigstock