Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 632–634 | Cite as

Impressions of Humanness for Android Robot may Represent an Endophenotype for Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Hirokazu Kumazaki
  • Zachary Warren
  • Amy Swanson
  • Yuichiro Yoshikawa
  • Yoshio Matsumoto
  • Hiroshi Ishiguro
  • Nilanjan Sarkar
  • Yoshio Minabe
  • Mitsuru Kikuchi
Letter to the Editor

Abstract

Identification of meaningful endophenotypes may be critical to unraveling the etiology and pathophysiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We investigated whether impressions of “humanness” for android robot might represent a candidate characteristic of an ASD endophenotype. We used a female type of android robot with an appearance similar to that of a real person. Significant differences in overall impressions of ‘humanness’ for android robot were found between adolescents with ASD and typical development (TD) controls, as well as parents of children with ASD and parents of TD controls. Our current work does suggest robotic systems could potentially play an intelligent role in dissecting ASD heterogeneity.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorders Humanness Android robot Endophenotype Heterogeneity 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the parents and children to the AUTOSLab at Vanderbilt University as well as the clinical research staff of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Specifically, the contributions of Nicole Bardett were instrumental to the project success.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

We have no financial relationships to disclose.

Ethical Approval

All procedures involving human participants were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

All procedures received institutional human subject’s approval with corresponding informed consent/assent procedures completed for all participants.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hirokazu Kumazaki
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zachary Warren
    • 3
  • Amy Swanson
    • 2
  • Yuichiro Yoshikawa
    • 4
    • 5
  • Yoshio Matsumoto
    • 6
  • Hiroshi Ishiguro
    • 4
    • 5
  • Nilanjan Sarkar
    • 7
  • Yoshio Minabe
    • 1
  • Mitsuru Kikuchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Center for Child Mental DevelopmentKanazawa UniversityKanazawaJapan
  2. 2.Treatment and Research Institute of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Vanderbilt Kennedy CenterNashvilleUSA
  3. 3.Departments of PediatricsPsychiatry and Special Education Vanderbilt Kennedy CenterNashvilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Systems Innovation, Graduate School of Engineering ScienceOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan
  5. 5.JST ERATO ISHIGURO Symbiotic Human-Robot InteractionOsakaJapan
  6. 6.Service Robotics Research Group, Intelligent Systems Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and TechnologyTsukubaJapan
  7. 7.Department of Mechanical EngineeringVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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