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A Preliminary Exploration of Virtual Reality-Based Visual and Touch Sensory Processing Assessment for Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng 2021;29:619-628



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85102625234 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   6 Citations


Sensory abnormalities are experienced by 90 - 95% of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a developmental disorder that impacts at least 1 in 132 children worldwide. Virtual reality (VR) technologies can precisely present sensory stimuli and be integrated with human sensing technologies to automatically detect sensory responses, and thus has a potential to improve sensory assessment objectiveness and sensitivity, compared to traditional questionnaire-based methods. However, there is a lack of evidence to demonstrate this potential. Therefore, we designed and developed a preliminary sensory assessment VR system (SAVR) to objectively and precisely evaluate the visual and touch sensory processing differences between adolescents with ASD and their typically developing (TD) peers through game playing. A controlled experiment was conducted with 12 adolescents with ASD and 12 TD adolescents. Participants' sensory pattern was assessed by SAVR and a widely used traditional questionnaire-the Adult/Adolescent Sensory Profile (AASP). We hypothesized that: 1) compared to AASP, SAVR can find more significant differences between the two participant groups, and 2) there are significant and strong correlations between the SAVR results and the AASP results. Statistical analyses of the experimental data supported the hypotheses. The implication and limitations of this preliminary exploration as well as future works are discussed.

Author List

Koirala A, Yu Z, Schiltz H, Van Hecke A, Armstrong B, Zheng Z


Amy Van Hecke PhD Professor in the Psychology department at Marquette University

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Autism Spectrum Disorder
Virtual Reality