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Ball throwing task for characterizing movement in autistic children

Leanne Chukoskie

Student leads:
HMRS PhD Student Minxin Cheng

Many autistic individuals experience difficulties in accurately throwing and catching a ball. Research indicates that there are multiple reasons for this, but one reason may be a bias in how autistics integrate sensory information in forming a movement plan. For example, other studies show that one’s sense of where one’s body is in space (proprioception) provides more input than visual information in autistics. Here, we use a basketball throwing game that is conducted in the real world and in virtual reality (VR) to compare throwing movements then visual information is advantaged (as it is in VR). We can also manipulate the degree of visual clutter in the throwing environment both in the real world and virtual world to assess the effect of visual environment complexity on throwing tasks. If we observe the expected difference in throwing between manipulated conditions, we will have the basis for providing guided feedback to improve throwing accuracy. 
interior abstract of ISEC building