Multimodal cognitive nonverbal processes could be thought as a building block from which emotional and verbal expressions could emerge. With the intention to explore this hypothesis, we studied the interaction between autistic children and mobile toy robots during free spontaneous game play both quantitatively and qualitatively. Cognitive nonverbal criteria (eye contact, touch, manipulation, and posture) were analyzed, firstly in a dyadic interaction and secondly in a triadic interaction. The frequency of nouns and verbs including those which express positive emotion was figured out only in dyadic interaction. Once the cognitive nonverbal state between the child and the robot established, the child interacts with a third person displaying positive emotion. A positive correlation exists between multimodal cognitive nonverbal processes and verbal expression when the free game play with the robot is possible. This data suggests that in free spontaneous game play (i.e., ecological situation) the mobile toy robots could be used as a neural orthesis to enhance severe, middle and moderate autistic children's brain multimodal activity. The findings allow us to infer that this neural orthesis could pave the way for the development of synergistic dialogues between autistic children and human environment.
|Number of pages
|International Journal on Advances in Life Sciences
|Published - 2013