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Virtual Reality Offering New Clues About Autism
July 13, 2017
We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.
-Japanese Proverb

Nathan Caruana and Jon Brock, in Scientific American, reported recently on a promising new way to understand autism:

"Traditional tests of social cognition fail to capture key aspects of social interactions, particularly in adults, that are essential to understanding autism.

"We need tests that allow us to precisely measure behavior in complex, reciprocal social interactions. To achieve this goal, we and others are investigating the use of virtual-reality technology as a tool for research and, potentially, therapy.

"Using these technologies, we have confirmed that problems with joint attention—the ability to coordinate with someone else so that you are both paying attention to the same thing—persist into adulthood. We’ve also gained important insights about the roots of these problems. We also hope that adults with autism can one day practice their social skills within specially designed virtual environments."

Source: "Virtual Reality May Reveal New Clues About Autism Social Difficulties" (Scientific American, May 24, 2017)

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