Assessing Children's Perceptions of Live Interactions with Avatars: Preparations for Use in ASD Therapy in a Multi-Ethnic Context

Luis Fernando Guerrero-Vásquez, Vladimir Espartaco Robles-Bykbaev, Martín López-Nores, Jack Fernando Bravo-Torres, Henry J. Jara-Quito, Manuel A. Tapia-Vintimilla, José Juan Pazos-Arias, Alberto Gil-Solla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Avatars have been found to be useful tools to overcome communication barriers in people affected by Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and to help them understand and express emotions. However, it has been shown that the success of the interactions is highly dependent on the subject's identification with the avatar. In this study, we assess the variables that may in fiuence that perception in children under 10, in the context of the largely multi-ethnic Ecuadorean society. The results reveal that, unlike previous studies showed for young adults, the ethnic traits displayed by the avatars are not a critical factor, as the the quality of the interactions was more in fiuenced by the perception of the avatars' appearance, their similarity with the kids' peers and, above all, the ability of the human model who controls the avatar to use a pleasant voice, to succeed in making his/her questions and responses fully understood, and to master the non-verbal communication transmitted through gestures and voice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168456-168469
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (Gobierno de España) Research Project under Grant TIN2017-87604-R, and in part by the Galician Regional Government through the Agreement for funding the AtlantTIC Research Center for Information and Communication Technologies and the Program for the Consolidation and Structuring of Competitive Research Groups. The authors would also like to thank the support provided by the UNESCO Chair on Support Technologies for Educational Inclusion.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. All rights reserved.


  • Avatars
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Multi-ethnic societies


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