Impressions of Humanness for Android Robot may Represent an Endophenotype for Autism Spectrum Disorders
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.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorders Humanness Android robot Endophenotype Heterogeneity
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.
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.
All procedures received institutional human subject’s approval with corresponding informed consent/assent procedures completed for all participants.
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