(Press-News.org) EL PASO, Texas -- For more than a year, researchers at The University of Texas at El Paso's Stanley E. Fulton Gait Research & Movement Analysis Lab in the College of Health Sciences have been using real-time 3D animation to investigate motor impairments in children who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Their aim is to understand how children with autism can learn motor skills, so that they can receive effective therapies.
The results of their study, titled "Children With Autism Exhibit More Individualized Responses to Live Animation Biofeedback Than Do Typically Developing Children," were recently published in the journal of Perceptual and Motor Skills. The paper's release coincides with National Autism Awareness Month in April.
"The greatest takeaway from this study is that when teaching or coaching new movements to an individual with autism, the teacher or coach needs to understand the individual with autism's specific motor learning characteristics," said Jeffrey Eggleston, Ph.D., assistant professor of kinesiology and Gait lab director. He is the study's lead author. "They need to look specifically at each child's needs because each child is different."
The study's other authors include Alyssa N. Olivas, a student in the doctoral biomedical engineering program; Heather R. Vanderhoof and Emily A. Chavez, students in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences (IHS) doctoral program; Carla Alvarado, M.D., board certified psychiatrist; and Jason B. Boyle, Ph.D., associate professor and interim chair of Kinesiology at UTEP.
More than 80% of children with ASD have gross motor skills issues, such as problems with balance and coordination, which can interfere with their communication and social interactions.
The 18-month UTEP study incorporated live animation biofeedback to teach 15 children who have ASD and were between the ages of 8 and 17 how to do a squat, a strength exercise that works multiple muscle groups in the body's lower extremities.
Researchers compared their movement patterns to children without the disorder. They found that children with ASD displayed highly individualized responses to the live animation biofeedback, much more so than children with typical development, Eggleston said.
In the lab, children had 1-inch cubes called inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensors strapped to their pelvis, thighs, lower legs and feet. They followed an animation model on a computer screen, which showed them how to squat. The children would then try to perform the squat without looking at the animation.
IMU sensors captured the movement of the child's lower extremities. The data was relayed to a computer graphics program via Bluetooth, which was transposed into a skeletal animation of the child squatting and then standing back up on the computer screen.
The study, which took place before the COVID-19 pandemic, was funded through a nearly $15,000 grant from the J. Edward and Helen M. C. Stern Foundation and UTEP's kinesiology department.
The University of Texas at El Paso is America's leading Hispanic-serving university. Located at the westernmost tip of Texas, where three states and two countries converge along the Rio Grande, 94% of our nearly 25,000 students are minorities, and half are the first in their families to go to college. UTEP offers 166 bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs at the only open-access, top tier research university in America.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Tweaking the look of a social media profile may subtly alter a person's reaction to the health messages that appear on that site, according to researchers. They add that these reactions could influence whether the users heed the advice of those messages.
In a study, the researchers found that people who gained a feeling of control when they customized an online website were more likely to perceive the health message as a threat to their freedom, lowering the chance that they will adopt the message's advice. On the other hand, when customization bolstered the users' sense of identity, they did not resent the message as much and were more willing to consider the ads' recommended behavioral changes, according to the researchers.
Ensuring that veterans have stable housing not only reduces homelessness but also slashes the cost of providing them with publicly funded health care, according to a national study led by University of Utah Health scientists. The researchers found that veterans who received temporary financial assistance (TFA) from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to acquire or retain housing had fewer hospital visits and an average reduction in health care costs of $2,800 over a two-year period than veterans who did not receive this benefit.
The researchers say this model could help non-profit organizations and other federal, state, and local governments better serve homeless Americans who are not veterans.
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But be careful, warns new research from the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.
Using these values primarily for self-interested purposes such as profit or reputation can ultimately undermine their special status and erode people's commitment to them.
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ATLANTA--An influenza vaccine that is made of nanoparticles and administered through the nose enhances the body's immune response to influenza virus infection and offers broad protection against different viral strains, according to researchers in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University.
Recurring seasonal flu epidemics and potential pandemics are among the most severe threats to public health. Current seasonal influenza vaccines induce strain-specific immunity and are less effective against mismatched strains. Broadly protective influenza vaccines are urgently needed.
Intranasal vaccines are a promising strategy for combatting ...