Autism research

Autism affects approximately one out of 160 children around the world [1], including girls and boys of all races and in all geographic regions. It has a large impact on children, their families, communities, and societies. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of complex development disorders, which are characterized by difficulties in social interaction and communication and a restricted and repetitive repertoire of interests and activities.

Research focused on Autism Spectrum Disorders

Researchers observe test participants for several minutes while they perform a task or are confronted with changing circumstances. For instance, some situations researchers might observe include an infant being presented with novel objects, a toddler being asked to finish a difficult task, and an adolescent being brought into contact with both familiar and unfamiliar adults. 

Tools to examine autism

The early detection of autism is a subject under discussion amongst many academics from different disciplines. To find answers to their research questions, a large number of researchers often compare the behavior of typically developing (TD) children to that of children with ASD. With The Observer XT, it is easy to compare different observations.

With Viso at the core of an observation lab, subjects can be observed unobtrusively.  Autism researchers often wish to note events of interest related to the reaction of the child towards others in a particular circumstances. Viso further facilitates capturing actions and reactions between two or more people.

In a home environment, researchers can use our portable lab, which includes equipment such as video cameras, recording and analysis software, or Pocket Observer, for scoring behavior on a handheld device.

Observation lab

White paper: How to build an observation lab 

An observation lab is designed to allow you to observe your test participants unobtrusively, in an environment similar to your test participant’s natural surroundings. To get off to a good start, it is best to describe the research or tests in great detail.

Download this free ‘how to’ guide to learn more about building an observation lab.

Measuring infants’ facial expressions

Baby FaceReader has been developed as a state of the art system to automatically detect infant facial expressions in order to help address questions in developmental psychology related to affect and developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It can help analyze expressive behavior occurring in naturalistic and experimental situations and during parent-child interactions.

In this recording, you can see the capturing of valence, and Action Units, with the use of Baby FACS.

Why observer behavior? | Free white paper

Download the free white paper to learn more about:

  • Why  we should observe behavior. Three examples: social communication, patterns in behavior, and eye contact.
  • How to observe behavior in a structured way: location, research software, pattern analysis software, and facial expression analysis.

Interesting publications

Diverse scientific articles citing Noldus products are published in renowned journals each week. The following list is only a small selection of scientific publications in autism research.

Several of these articles were used in our blog posts on autism research.

Recent blog posts on Autism research

In celebration of World Autism Awareness Day, this blog post focuses on the social interactions between children and their older autistic siblings.

Disrupted mealtimes and feeding challenges may risk the development of family stability, as well as the social skills and well-being of a child. Which strategy should families incorporate to support meal time engagement?