Public Release:  Virtual conversation simulator found beneficial for adults with autism

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

IMAGE

IMAGE: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly in print and online that explores the psychological and social issues surrounding the Internet and interactive technologies.... view more

Credit: © Mary Ann Liebert Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, March 17, 2011--Simulated interactions in which adults with autism converse with a virtual partner may help them develop better social interaction skills, according to a novel study presented in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (www.liebertpub.com). The article is available free online at http://www.liebertpub.com/cyber

More than half of individuals diagnosed with autism have normal intellectual capabilities yet struggle in social and work environments because of their severely impaired abilities to interact and converse with others. Cheryl Trepagnier, PhD, and Corinne Bell, MA, (The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC), and Dale Olsen, PhD, and Laura Boteler, (SIMmersion LLC, Columbia, MD), report that adults with autism who participated in a prototype conversation simulation program responded positively to the experience, supporting the quality and usefulness of the simulation.

In the article, "Virtual Conversation Partner for Adults with Autism," the authors describe a simulated environment in which participants with autism who are not otherwise intellectually disabled interact with virtual partners, are given onscreen dialog options, and are scored on their ability to initiate, maintain, and conclude a pleasant conversation on a variety of topics.

"Over the past two decades, simulations have proven effective at helping people with a variety of physical and mental disorders. This new application could make it so many with Autism Spectrum Disorder could function more effectively in the larger world," says Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCIA, Editor-in-Chief of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, CA.

###

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly in print and online that explores the psychological and social issues surrounding the Internet and interactive technologies. Complete tables of content and a free sample issue may be viewed online at www.liebertpub.com/cpb

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Telemedicine and e-Health and Journal of Women's Health. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 60 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available at www.liebertpub.com.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 140 Huguenot St., New Rochelle, NY 10801-5215 www.liebertpub.com
Phone: (914) 740-2100 (800) M-LIEBERT Fax: (914) 740-2101

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.