Computer vision tools for the non-invasive assessment of autism-related behavioral markers


The early detection of developmental disorders is key to child outcome, allowing interventions to be initiated that promote development and improve prognosis. Research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) suggests behavioral markers can be observed late in the first year of life. Many of these studies involved extensive frame-by-frame video observation and analysis of a child's natural behavior. Although non-intrusive, these methods are extremely time-intensive and require a high level of observer training; thus, they are impractical for clinical and large population research purposes. Diagnostic measures for ASD are available for infants but are only accurate when used by specialists experienced in early diagnosis. This work is a first milestone in a long-term multidisciplinary project that aims at helping clinicians and general practitioners accomplish this early detection/measurement task automatically. We focus on providing computer vision tools to measure and identify ASD behavioral markers based on components of the Autism Observation Scale for Infants (AOSI). In particular, we develop algorithms to measure three critical AOSI activities that assess visual attention. We augment these AOSI activities with an additional test that analyzes asymmetrical patterns in unsupported gait. The first set of algorithms involves assessing head motion by tracking facial features, while the gait analysis relies on joint foreground segmentation and 2D body pose estimation in video. We show results that provide insightful knowledge to augment the clinician's behavioral observations obtained from real in-clinic assessments.







Guillermo Sapiro

James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Guillermo Sapiro received his B.Sc. (summa cum laude), M.Sc., and Ph.D. from the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, in 1989, 1991, and 1993 respectively. After post-doctoral research at MIT, Dr. Sapiro became Member of Technical Staff at the research facilities of HP Labs in Palo Alto, California. He was with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Minnesota, where he held the position of Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Vincentine Hermes-Luh Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Currently he is the Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School Professor with Duke University.

G. Sapiro works on theory and applications in computer vision, computer graphics, medical imaging, image analysis, and machine learning. He has authored and co-authored over 300 papers in these areas and has written a book published by Cambridge University Press, January 2001.

G. Sapiro was awarded the Gutwirth Scholarship for Special Excellence in Graduate Studies in 1991,  the Ollendorff Fellowship for Excellence in Vision and Image Understanding Work in 1992,  the Rothschild Fellowship for Post-Doctoral Studies in 1993, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 1998,  the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientist and Engineers (PECASE) in 1998, the National Science Foundation Career Award in 1999, and the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship in 2010. He received the test of time award at ICCV 2011. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on 2018.

G. Sapiro is a Fellow of IEEE and SIAM.

G. Sapiro was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the SIAM Journal on Imaging Sciences.

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