Social Robots as Embedded Reinforcers of Social Behavior in Children with Autism
- 3.7k Downloads
In this study we examined the social behaviors of 4- to 12-year-old children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD; N = 24) during three tradic interactions with an adult confederate and an interaction partner, where the interaction partner varied randomly among (1) another adult human, (2) a touchscreen computer game, and (3) a social dinosaur robot. Children spoke more in general, and directed more speech to the adult confederate, when the interaction partner was a robot, as compared to a human or computer game interaction partner. Children spoke as much to the robot as to the adult interaction partner. This study provides the largest demonstration of social human-robot interaction in children with autism to date. Our findings suggest that social robots may be developed into useful tools for social skills and communication therapies, specifically by embedding social interaction into intrinsic reinforcers and motivators.
KeywordsSocial robots Assistive robots Intervention Embedded reinforcers
This material is based upon work supported by Microsoft Research and the National Science Foundation under grants No. 0835767, No. 0968538, and No. 1117801, as well as by an NSF Expedition in Computing (award #1139078). We thank Kathleen Koenig for clinical insights into experimental design; Taylor Mae Brown and Hilary Rose Barr for meticulous video annotation; Julie Wolf, Elizabeth Schoen Simmons, and Maysa Akbar for clinical supervision of participants; Rebecca Loomis and Jonathan Tirrell for assistance with data management; Erin MacDonnell and Heidi Seib for assistance with recruitment; and Jonathan A. Kelley for insightful review of this manuscript.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-IV-TR. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
- Carter, A. S., Davis, N. O., Klin, A., & Volkmar, F. R. (2005). Social development in autism. In F. R. Volkmar, R. Paul, A. Klin, & D. J. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders (3rd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 312–334). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
- Dediu, H. (2011, 2008). Nearly 75% of iPhones are in use outside the US | asymco. Retrieved from http://www.asymco.com/2011/01/08/nearly-75-of-iphones-are-in-use-outside-the-us/.
- Elliott, C. D. (2007). Differential ability scales-II (DAS-II). San Antonio, TX: Pearson. Retrieved from http://www.pearsonassessments.com/HAIWEB/Cultures/en-us/Productdetail.htm?Pid=015-8338-820.
- Feil-Seifer, D., & Matarić, M. J. (2009). Toward socially assistive robotics for augmenting interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders. In O. Khatib, V. Kumar, & G. J. Pappas (Eds.), Experimental robotics (Vol. 54, pp. 201–210). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer. Retrieved from http://www.springerlink.com/content/l2k004r536p73nl6/.
- Innvo Labs. (2012). PLEOworld. Retrieved February 22, 2012. From http://www.pleoworld.com/pleo_rb/eng/index.php.
- Kanner, L. (1943). Autistic disturbances of affective content. Nervous Child, 2, 217–250.Google Scholar
- Kim, E. S., Leyzberg, D., Tsui, K. M., & Scassellati, B. (2009). How people talk when teaching a robot. Proceedings of the 4th ACM/IEEE international conference on human robot interaction, HRI’09 (pp. 23–30). New York, NY: ACM. doi:10.1145/1514095.1514102.
- Klin, A., Lang, J., Cicchetti, D. V., & Volkmar, F. R. (2000). Brief report: Interrater reliability of clinical diagnosis and DSM-IV criteria for autistic disorder: Results of the DSM-IV autism field trial. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30(2), 163–167. doi: 10.1023/A:1005415823867.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kozima, H., Nakagawa, C., & Yasuda, Y. (2005). Interactive robots for communication-care: A case-study in autism therapy. IEEE International workshop on robot and human interactive communication, 2005. ROMAN 2005 (pp. 341–346). Presented at the IEEE international workshop on robot and human interactive communication, 2005. ROMAN 2005, IEEE. doi:10.1109/ROMAN.2005.1513802.
- Lord, C., Risi, S., Lambrecht, L., Cook, E. H., Leventhal, B. L., DiLavore, P. C., Pickles, A., et al. (2000). The autism diagnostic observation schedule—generic: A standard measure of social and communication deficits associated with the spectrum of autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30(3), 205–223. doi: 10.1023/A:1005592401947.Google Scholar
- Mesibov, G. B. (1992). Treatment issues with high-functioning adolescents and adults with autism. In E. Schopler & G. B. Mesibov (Eds.), High-functioning individuals with autism, current issues in autism (pp. 143–156). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Mullen, E. M. (1995). Mullen scales of early learning (AGS.). San Antonio, TX: Pearson.Google Scholar
- Mundy, P., Sigman, M. D., & Dawson, G. (1989). Specifying the nature of the social impairment in autism. Autism: New perspectives on nature, diagnosis, and treatment (pp. 3–21).Google Scholar
- Robins, B., Dautenhahn, K., te Boekhorst, R., & Billard, A. (2005). Robotic assistants in therapy and education of children with autism: Can a small humanoid robot help encourage social interaction skills? Universal Access in the Information Society, 4(2), 105–120. doi: 10.1007/s10209-005-0116-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Scassellati, B. (1996). Mechanisms of shared attention for a humanoid robot. Embodied Cognition and Action: Papers from the 1996 AAAI Fall Symposium (Vol. 4, p. 21).Google Scholar
- Scassellati, B. (2005). Quantitative metrics of social response for autism diagnosis. IEEE international workshop on robot and human interactive communication, ROMAN 2005 (pp. 585–590). doi:10.1109/ROMAN.2005.1513843.
- Sparrow, S. S., Cicchetti, D. V., & Balla, D. A. (2005). Vineland adaptive behavior scales (Vineland-II) (2nd ed.). San Antonio, TX: Pearson. Retrieved from http://psychcorp.pearsonassessments.com/HAIWEB/Cultures/en-us/Productdetail.htm?Pid=Vineland-II.
- Stanton, C. M., Kahn Jr., P. H., Severson, R. L., Ruckert, J. H., & Gill, B. T. (2008). Robotic animals might aid in the social development of children with autism (p. 271). ACM Press. doi:10.1145/1349822.1349858.
- Steinfeld, A., Jenkins, O. C., & Scassellati, B. (2009). The oz of wizard: Simulating the human for interaction research. Proceedings of the 4th ACM/IEEE international conference on Human robot interaction, HRI’09 (pp. 101–108). San Diego, CA: ACM. doi:10.1145/1514095.1514115.
- Strickland, D. (1997). Virtual reality for the treatment of autism. In G. Riva (Ed.), Virtual reality in neuro-psycho-physiology: Cognitive, clinical and methodological issues in assessment and rehabilitation (pp. 81–86). Amsterdam: IOS Press.Google Scholar
- Tager-Flusberg, H., Paul, R., & Lord, C. (2005). Language and communication. In F. R. Volkmar, R. Paul, A. Klin, & D. J. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders (3rd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 335–364). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
- Volkmar, F. R., & Klin, A. (2005). Issues in the classification of autism and related conditions. In F. R. Volkmar, R. Paul, A. Klin, & D. J. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders (3rd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 335–364). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
- Werry, I., & Dautenhahn, K. (1999). Applying mobile robot technology to the rehabilitation of autistic children. Proceedings of the 7th symposium on intelligent robotic systems (SIRS99).Google Scholar