Loom is a single and multiplayer Virtual Reality game in which players use the puzzle pattern from a view wall, grab the colored blocks from the play wall, and replicate the pattern onto a build wall. The game can be played cooperatively, competitively or solo.

HTC Vive Pro Eye VR headset is used to collect biometric data such as eye movements, arm movements, and head movements in order to understand the nature of social interaction during game play.

In the future, we are looking to establish a global network of players in compatible VR headsets to connect participants and researchers worldwide, enabling participation despite accessibility challenges and serving as a central hub for fun and engaging VR experiments.

With this study we seek to measure movement and physiological aspects of social dyads while playing a game. Specifically, we are examining interactions of autistic and non-autistic individuals while playing the multiplayer virtual reality game, so that we might better understand fluid social behavior.

 This research aims to investigate how autistic individuals perceive and respond to dynamic tasks with varying levels of visual and spatial complexity. This will be achieved by evaluating and comparing their visual-motor functionality in both physical and virtual reality environments, with a specific focus on studying motor movement characteristics in these individuals.

    Ball Throwing Task

    The Ball Throwing Task encompasses both physical and virtual environments, where participants engage in visual-motor tasks in each setting, replicating these tasks within both environments.

    The overarching objective is to gain insight into the visuomotor challenges faced by autistic individuals. The study of real-time perception-action coupling seeks to enhance their daily lives, including tasks such as catching a ball or engaging in dynamic sensorimotor activities.

    We aim to examine our participants’ real-time adaptation to changing conditions, with a particular emphasis on improving their performance.

    The ultimate goal of our study is to improve throwing performance, enhance skill retention, and facilitate the transfer of these skills to other tasks.

    User-centered Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device

    The study involves an in-depth examination of current AAC devices, systems, and strategies to identify their limitations and areas for improvement by collaborating with individuals who use AAC and professionals in the field to gather insights into the specific needs and preferences of the diverse population that relies on AAC tools.

    Through user-centered design principles and cutting-edge technology, the study will explore novel solutions to enhance the functionality and design of AAC devices.

    Ultimately, the research aims to create AAC solutions that better cater to the unique needs of users, ensuring that communication support is more accessible and effective for a broader range of individuals who rely on AAC. 

    Snapshot of APIA task in progress

    This research aims to advance the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology by exploring innovative approaches to develop more functional and user-friendly AAC devices, systems, and strategies. The primary goal is to improve communication support for individuals who face challenges with natural speech.

    The study aims to investigate the impact of combining aerobic physical activity with second language learning in older adults, seeking to determine whether this novel approach enhances language acquisition and cognitive health in this demographic. A secondary goal of the project is to examine the potential benefits of cognitive-motor dual-task interventions for promoting physical and cognitive well-being in aging populations.

      Language Learning and Physical Activity

      The Exerbike pilot project involves the development and testing of an immersive experience, the “Spanish bike tour,” currently consisting of four 30-minute exercise sessions combined with second language learning.

      The primary focus is to assess the impact of exercise and cognitive engagement on physical and cognitive health in older adults, with the goal of exploring whether this unique combination can enhance language learning abilities in this demographic.

      The long-term objective of the project is to make the resulting game publicly available and accessible, potentially offering a novel and enjoyable approach to improving both physical fitness and cognitive function in aging populations.

      Learning When to Look

      The project investigates human gaze timing in dynamic environments, particularly the synchronization of saccadic eye movements with visual rhythms.

      We use eye tracking to measure gaze behavior in a target identification task that is based on timing. The study evaluates target accuracy, acquisition time, and saccadic entrainment to different rhythms. Data analysis combines eye movement and psychophysical measurements to quantify synchronization’s temporal dynamics.

      Future research aims to extend these findings to neurotypical and autistic individuals and explore gamification for further study.

      The Learning When to Look Project investigates the synchronization of gaze behavior with visual rhythms in dynamic environments, shedding light on the mechanisms governing this behavior and its impact on perception and attention. Our next step for this research involves engaging neurodiverse populations who have different timing patterns in motor behavior. We also plan to bring game mechanics into this task to increase motivation and engagement.

      The study aims to investigate the behavioral differences between professional and novice players in the eSports game Rocket League, focusing on the role of eye movement and player controller input in skill development. It seeks to understand how spatial awareness and prediction skills evolve in the context of eSports gameplay and explore the potential of using this knowledge for skill enhancement.

        Rocket League Eyetracking

        Researchers will employ eye tracking technology to gather gaze data from professional and novice Rocket League players, enabling us to distinguish different eye movement patterns, prediction strategies, and spatial awareness between the two skill groups.

        Our first goal is to understand the development of spatial awareness skill in Rocket League, and whether skill in the game transfers to real world environments (such as physical sports). By identifying how behavior varies with game play experience, we will explore prospects for future training of eSports athletes.


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