“A clinician-driven virtual learning platform, tailored to young adults on the autism spectrum, results in improved social competency, a pilot study shows.
The findings, from researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas, in collaboration with co-leading authors at George Washington University and Yale, reveal that increases in socio-emotional and socio-cognitive abilities correlate with brain change.
Results included increased activation in the right posterior superior temporal sulcus, the brain’s socio-cognition hub, with gains linked to improvement on an empathy measure.”
“Kevin, a ‘Virtual Interactive Training Agent’ [ViTA] was designed [by the USC Institute for Creative Technologies] to help students with autism spectrum disorder.”
“After seeing ViTA DMF in action, we realized there is limitless potential to help in many of the soft skill areas where folks on the autism spectrum struggle, both in and out of the workplace,” said psychologist Skip Rizzo, ICT’s director of medical virtual reality, who co-leads the project.
“We can provide experiential practice with a virtual human to help students practice a range of social and vocational skills, including how to take turns properly in a discussion, how to respond when someone says something inappropriate or even how to make small talk.”