This PhD project focuses on multi-sensory Virtual Environments (VE) centered around 3D audio - or spatialized audio - in Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) in order to enhance the autistic child perception and processing of social stimuli. We aim at developing multisensory approaches (audio with visuals, and maybe vestibular, tactile) that are progressive and adaptative, being in contact with autism experts, in order to: enhance the perception of stimuli that are unexpected or outside of the field of vision; better understand the contribution of audio3D in different contexts (audio, audio/visuals, audio/haptic, audio/visual + haptic). We will then be able to assess the potential of 3D audio to increase curiosity of children with ASD in comparison with other modalities in VR/VA. We will also focus on the most adapted technologies to measure the efficacy of prototypes.
1. Interviews with autism stakeholders
- How autism interventions are conducted?
- Which XR use cases could support them?
- How to design such XR use cases?
Interviews were conducted with people from the ASD community i.e. 29 practitioners, 4 autistic individuals, and 1 researcher in developmental psychopathology. In parallel, a review of the literature was conducted regarding XR applications for autism interventions. Interviews were analyzed and the emerging statements were compared with the literature.
- Bauer, V., Bouchara, T., and Bourdot, P. eXtended Reality for Autism Interventions: The importance of Mediation and Sensory-Based Approaches, in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders [Second review phase]
2. Magic Bubbles - AR multisensory mediation for children with moderate to severe autism
This work is conducted in collaboration with Olivier Duris (psychologist), Charlotte Labossière (psychologist), Marie-Noëlle Clément (psychiatrist), and Claire Lerat (psychologist), at the Day Hospital called “André Boulloche” in Paris.
- How XR design could expand clinic-based sensory strategies that aim at calming and engaging autistc children requiring high support?
- How to maximize the acceptability of XR applications in clinical contexts?
- Initial scenario inspired from 34 interviews presented to the practitioners
- Scenario adapted to the specific needs of the day hospital
- Pre-study with 11 practitioners at the day hospital
- Bauer, V., Bouchara, and Bourdot, P. Designing an Extended Reality Application to Expand Clinic-BasedSensory Strategies for Autistic Children Requiring Substantial Support:Participation of Practitioners. [in review]
- Bauer, V., Bouchara, T., and Bourdot, P. (2021). Conception d’une Application Multisensorielle de Réalité Augmentée Destinée au Bien-être d’Enfants avec Autisme Modéré à Sévère. At Handiversité2021. Paris, France. (Prix jeune cher-cheur)
An experiment is currently taking place at hôpital de jour André Boulloche with seven autistic children requiring moderate to high support. The analysis process is just starting. Findings will soon be provided.
3. Rehabilitation of auditory disorders among autistic children
This work is being conducted in collaboration with Aurélien d’Ignazio (psychometrician)
1. Review of sounds possibly generating discomfort
- Just started
2. Assessment of sound tolerance
3. Treatement of sound tolerance