Participate in Our Research

Learn about our research studies in early development of attentional skills, playing and interacting with a robot and other toys, skills in children and adults while playing a game on the Microsoft Kinect.

Participate in our research

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Eye Movements

Gaze Contingent Paradigms for Examination of Attentional Atypicalities in ASD

What is the purpose of this study?
This study will examine the early development of attentional skills in young children.  We will observe how children with various developmental delays and typical development look at objects and people. This research will lead to the development of new methods to diagnose developmental delays in toddlers, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It will also help us identify key areas for early intervention.

Who will be studied?
•    3- to 60-month-old children with developmental delays, including ASD
•    3- to 60-month-old children at risk for developmental delays or ASD
•    3- to 60-month-old typically developing children

What does the study involve?
Your child will watch pictures of objects and people on a computer screen, as well as watch several short videos. All children will be given a developmental assessment, and those with developmental problems will also be administered a diagnostic assessment.  Parents will complete several questionnaires regarding their child’s development and adaptive behavior.
 
What is the time commitment?
The testing will last up to five hours which will be divided between two visits at our lab.  We will schedule all appointments at your convenience.

What are the benefits of being in this study to my family?
Parents of children with identified developmental delays will have the opportunity to discuss the findings with a clinician and will subsequently receive a written report summarizing the assessment results.  In addition, children will receive a gift certificate.

Can my child be in this study?
Your child can be in this study if he or she is:
•    3 to 60 months old and has either suspected or identified delays in social, communication, cognitive, or other areas, and if the child has no visual or hearing impairment, seizure disorder, or any known genetic syndrome.
OR 
•    3 to 60 months old and has no delays, visual or hearing impairment, seizure disorder, or identified genetic syndrome and has an older sibling with ASD or developmental delays.
OR 
•    3 to 60months old and has no delays, visual or hearing impairment, seizure disorder, or identified genetic syndrome.


What safeguards are in place to ensure that the study is conducted in a safe and ethical manner?
The study has been approved by the Yale Human Investigations Committee, protocol #1306012246. The examiners working with your child have extensive experience with toddlers. 

Who is funding the study?
This study is funded through the National Institutes of Mental Health. 

What other Universities are conducting this study in conjunction with Yale?
None

Who is involved at Yale?
The members of the research team include Frederick Shic Ph.D., Kasia Chawarska, Ph.D., and Suzanne Macari, Ph.D.

How can I get more information?
If you would like more information about this study, please contact Carla Wall (203) 737-1121.


Social Robots

Exploration of social behaviors during interaction with robots among infants, children and adults with ASD

robots


What is the purpose of this study? 

The aim of this study is to learn more about early emerging play differences and affective response in young children with ASD.  We will explore how children of varying age and developmental ability play with a small, tennis-ball sized robot expressing four distinct emotions.  This research may lead to the development of new methods to diagnose developmental delays in toddlers, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Further, this study may yield information about new potential methods for earlier detection and intervention.


Who will be studied? 

• 24- to 60-month-old children with developmental delays, including ASD

• 24- to 60-month-old children at risk for developmental delays or ASD

• 24- to 60-month-old typically developing children


What does the study involve? 

Your child will be invited to engage in free play with a small, mobile robot for approximately 10 minutes.  One caregiver will also be invited to accompany the child and attend the session as a passive observer during the interaction.  The robot will move around the room, play music and display lights of various colors to simulate four emotions.

What is the time commitment? 

The experiment will last approximately 20 minutes, total.  We will schedule your appointment at a day and time most convenient for you and your family.


What are the benefits of being in this study to my family? 

Families will be compensated $15.00 for their participation in the study.


Can my child be in this study? 

Your child can be in this study if he or she is:

• 24- to 60 months old and has either suspected or identified delays in social, communication, cognitive, or other areas, and if the child has no visual or hearing impairment, seizure disorder, or any known genetic syndrome.

OR  

• 24- to 60 months old and has no delays, visual or hearing impairment, seizure disorder, or identified genetic syndrome and has an older sibling with ASD or developmental delays. 

OR  

• 24- to 60 months old and has no delays, visual or hearing impairment, seizure disorder, or identified genetic syndrome. 


What safeguards are in place to ensure that the study is conducted in a safe and ethical manner? 

The study has been approved by the Yale Human Investigations Committee, protocol #1403013521. The examiners working with your child have extensive experience with toddlers.  


Who is funding the study? 

This study is funded through the National Science Foundation.  


What other Universities are conducting this study in conjunction with Yale? 

None


Who is involved at Yale? 

The members of the research team include Frederick Shic Ph.D., Kasia Chawarska, Ph.D., and Suzanne Macari, Ph.D.


How can I get more information?

If you would like more information about this study, please contact Carla Wall (203) 737-1121 or carla.wall@yale.edu. 

Video Games

Title: Examining Social, Cognitive, And Emotional Skills In Individuals With ASD Using Microsoft Kinect

What is the purpose of this study?
This study will examine skills in children and adults while playing a game on the Microsoft Kinect. We will observe how children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and typical development (TD) interact with various stimuli from the game. This research may lead to the development of new methods to diagnose developmental delays in children, and may also help us identify key areas for early intervention.

Who will be studied?
•    2- to 10-year-old children with ASD
•    2- to 10-year-old children with TD
•    Adults (18 years and up) with ASD
•    Adults (18 years and up) with TD

What does the study involve?
Participants will be asked to play a video game using the Microsoft Kinect for about half an hour. Participants will move left and right to “catch” falling targets (shapes, faces, or other objects) on the screen. During game play, a sensor will be worn on the ankle or wrist to measure electrodermal activity on the skin. There will also be an eye-tracking activity after the game, where the participant will look at pictures and videos while gaze direction is recorded. All participants will complete developmental assessments prior to participation in the study.

What is the time commitment?
The study will take place over one visit and take from one to three hours to complete. We will schedule all appointments at your convenience.

What are the benefits of being in this study?
This study is not meant to provide direct benefit to the participants, but the data collected will help researchers learn more about developmental disabilities. Participants will also receive up to $30 for completing the study.

Can I be in this study?
You/your child can be in this study if the following criteria are met:
•    2 to 10 years old with a diagnosis of ASD and no visual or hearing impairment, seizure disorder, or any known genetic syndrome.
OR
•    18 years and older with a diagnosis of ASD and no visual or hearing impairment, seizure disorder, or any known genetic syndrome.
OR
•    2 to 10 years old with no social, communicative, or cognitive delays, and no visual or hearing impairment, seizure disorder, or identified genetic syndrome.
OR
•    18 years and older with no social, communicative, or cognitive delays, and no visual or hearing impairment, seizure disorder, or any identified genetic syndrome.

What safeguards are in place to ensure that the study is conducted in a safe and ethical manner?
The study has been approved by the Yale Human Investigations Committee, protocol #1209010801. The examiners working with your child have extensive experience in working with toddlers.

Who is funding the study?
This study is funded by the Yale School of Medicine – Child Study Center.

What other Universities are conducting this study in conjunction with Yale?
None

Who is involved at Yale?
The members of the research team led by Frederick Shic Ph.D. and Kasia Chawarska, Ph.D.

How can I get more information?
If you would like more information about this study, please contact Carla at (203) 737-1121 or email carla.wall@yale.edu