How can eye-tracking help to reveal and support unsuspected socio-emotional skills in children with Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities? A longitudinal analysis of case studies

Auteur Thalia CAVADINI
Directeur /trice Pr Edouard Gentaz
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s) Pr Yannick Courbois
Résumé de la thèse

Individuals with Profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) experience a combination of severe cognitive and motor impairments frequently associated with additional sensory deficits and various medical disorders. Since these persons have an developmental age of approximately 24 months, limited general body movements and little or no use of language, the administration of common psychological tests is invalidated. Due to the extend and seriousness of their disabilities, the assessment of people with PIMD is a complex challenge with multiple issues for which the use of indirect observations seems to be the most efficient method although its validity and reliability are limited. Therefore, there is a need to improve the evaluation process of these individuals who are often labeled "untestable" because of the lack of standardized instruments applicable for a valid estimation of their level of intellectual capacity. The purpose of the present proposal is to perform a longitudinal analysis of case studies using a visual preference experimental procedure and eye-tracking measures as a hypothetical new theoretical and practical framework to reveal and support unsuspected socio-emotional skills in this heterogenous population. With the primary aim of better understanding its affective and socio-communicative development, we will use this innovative technology for recording the oculomotor activity of children with PIMD (N?6 cases) to investigate whether they show the same visual preferences for (a) biological motion, (b) socially salient stimuli, (c) objects of joint attention, (d) specific facial features in happy (for the mouth area) and angry (eye/brow area) faces, and (e) prosocial behaviors as a control group of typical developing infants of equivalent mental age (N=60). In line with a person-centered approach, our second objective is to design and implement cognitive trainings tailored to individual abilities to explore the perceptual learning potential of these children by repeatedly testing their preference patterns at 6 measurement times of 4 eye-tracking sessions each over 4 years in order to improve our knowledge of their cognitive functioning.

Statut au milieu
Délai administratif de soutenance de thèse 2024
URL https://www.unige.ch/fapse/sensori-moteur/membres/thalia-cavadini/
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/thalia-cavadini-976685181/