A Computational Study of Expressive Facial Dynamics in Children with Autism.

IEEE Trans Affect Comput. 2018 Jan-Mar;9(1):14-20

Authors: Guha T, Yang Z, Grossman RB, Narayanan SS

Abstract
Several studies have established that facial expressions of children with autism are often perceived as atypical, awkward or less engaging by typical adult observers. Despite this clear deficit in the quality of facial expression production, very little is understood about its underlying mechanisms and characteristics. This paper takes a computational approach to studying details of facial expressions of children with high functioning autism (HFA). The objective is to uncover those characteristics of facial expressions, notably distinct from those in typically developing children, and which are otherwise difficult to detect by visual inspection. We use motion capture data obtained from subjects with HFA and typically developing subjects while they produced various facial expressions. This data is analyzed to investigate how the overall and local facial dynamics of children with HFA differ from their typically developing peers. Our major observations include reduced complexity in the dynamic facial behavior of the HFA group arising primarily from the eye region.

PMID: 29963280 [PubMed]

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