Toward the autism motor signature: gesture patterns during smart tablet gameplay identify children with autism

Anna Anzulewicz, Krzysztof Sobota, Jonathan T. Delafield-Butt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)
66 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Autism is a developmental disorder evident from infancy. Yet, its clinical identification requires expert diagnostic training. New evidence indicates disruption to motor timing and integration may underpin the disorder, providing a potential new computational marker for its early identification. In this study, we employed smart tablet computers with touch-sensitive screens and embedded inertial movement sensors to record the movement kinematics and gesture forces made by 37 children 3-6 years old with autism and 45 age- and gender-matched children developing typically. Machine learning analysis of the children’s motor patterns identified autism with up to 93% accuracy. Analysis revealed these patterns consisted of greater forces at contact and with a different distribution of forces within a gesture, and gesture kinematics were faster and larger, with more distal use of space. These data support the notion disruption to movement is core feature of autism, and demonstrate autism can be computationally assessed by fun, smart device gameplay.
Original languageEnglish
Article number31107
Number of pages13
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2016

Keywords

  • autism spectrum disorder
  • serious games
  • motor control
  • autism assessment
  • autism diagnosis
  • machine learning
  • digital health

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