Using virtual reality environment to improve joint attention associated with pervasive developmental disorder

Yufang Cheng, Ruowen Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The focus of this study is using data glove to practice Joint attention skill in virtual reality environment for people with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). The virtual reality environment provides a safe environment for PDD people. Especially, when they made errors during practice in virtual reality environment, there is no suffering or dangerous consequences to deal with. Joint attention is a critical skill in the disorder characteristics of children with PDD. The absence of joint attention is a deficit frequently affects their social relationship in daily life. Therefore, this study designed the Joint Attention Skills Learning (JASL) systems with data glove tool to help children with PDD to practice joint attention behavior skills. The JASL specifically focus the skills of pointing, showing, sharing things and behavior interaction with other children with PDD. The system is designed in playroom-scene and presented in the first-person perspectives for users. The functions contain pointing and showing, moving virtual objects, 3D animation, text, speaking sounds, and feedback. The method was employed single subject multiple-probe design across subjects' designs, and analysis of visual inspection in this study. It took 3 months to finish the experimental section. Surprisingly, the experiment results reveal that the participants have further extension in improving the joint attention skills in their daily life after using the JASL system. The significant potential in this particular treatment of joint attention for each participant will be discussed in details in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2141-2152
Number of pages12
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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