An open house for Emerson’s new Facial Affective and Communicative Expression (FACE) Lab will be held Monday, April 28, from 4:00 to 6:30 pm in Room 225 (second floor) of the Massachusetts State Transportation Building. Food and games will be provided.
The laboratory, which is specifically for research on children with autism, opened this semester after the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department received a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. It is overseen by Assistant Professor Ruth Grossman.
In addition to funding a postdoctoral fellow and a research assistant, the grant provides for state-of-the-art technology that tracks eye gaze and facial movements of children on the autism spectrum.
The technology includes six Vicon motion-capture cameras that measure facial movements at up to 515 frames per second. The lab also has an infrared Remote Eye-tracker Device (RED), made by SensoMotoric Instruments, that can take up to 500 snapshots per second of a person’s eye movement.
One in 68 children has autism, according to a recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
For the purposes of a photo demonstration, a 12-year-old girl (who is not a patient) is outfitted with reflective markers that help autism researchers in Emerson's new FACE Lab examine facial expressions. (Photo by Kelsey Davis '15)