University of Twente Student Theses


Move4Music : An Adaptive Sound System To Prompt Connection During Neurodiverse Dyadic Interactions

Oral, Lara (2023) Move4Music : An Adaptive Sound System To Prompt Connection During Neurodiverse Dyadic Interactions.

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Abstract:We believe that we must work towards social systems that are more understanding, inclusive and welcoming of neurodivergent ways of interacting. Thus, the overall aim of the current work is to create a diversity computing (DivComp) device, that is, a technology system that helps autistic and non-autistic (NA) people to better understand, adapt to and appreciate each other’s social behaviors and expectations. Specifically, this Master’s thesis investigates how neurodiverse dyadic social interactions can be supported with multi-sensory embodied interaction technologies. Dialogical systems can help to change and transform social systems. Given the autistic embodied experience as a specific case, elements, such as the double-empathy problem, may make neurodiverse interactions – and achieving a mutually-satisfactory structural coupling – more challenging. A technology-mediated dialogical system could, thus, target this challenge to help accomplish the overall goal. Embodied interaction techniques that make use of sound and movement are, here, deemed promising, based on the fact that these modalities are also used in music therapy for autistic individuals. Hence, focus is put on how real-time measurements of body movements can be mapped onto sound feedback, to create an interactive system that aids in co-located neurodiverse participatory sense-making. In particular, an overall design-theoretical framework based on embodied sense-making was applied and a participatory research-through-design (RtD) methodology was followed, moving through two reflective design and research iterations. These involved various methodical approaches such as literature research, co-design, contextual and semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and expert reflections and discussions. As a result, a first sketch of the system, Move4Music, involving a list of design guidelines and requirements was reached. Specifically, in the first iteration, an in-service Wizard-of-Oz (WoZ) data collection set-up was made use of, in order to obtain insights and expertise from autistic and NA dancers and music therapists, in an embodied way. This aimed to inspire the design of Move4Music, in terms of what aspects of the interaction and joint movements it can aim to perceive, and how these can be mapped onto different sounds and sound changes. As a result, various insights were collected, including strategies participants use to try and dance with one another (e.g. mirroring/repetition, lessened distance) and sound aspects that can help to support connection-building (e.g. volume, unexpected sounds). These were used to come to a set list of movement-to-sound mappings, which were tested through WoZ in a second iteration, in an intended use context. In particular, technology-mediated interactions between autistic children and their NA teacher were observed for further refinements in the design. For example, the set of dancing-together strategies were affirmed, while the iteration also revealed important different characteristics in the target user group and their interactions (e.g. attention). Future directions were provided, such as working towards a working autonomous technology system and exploring more use contexts and longer-term repeated use and interactions.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:01 general works, 02 science and culture in general, 05 communication studies, 54 computer science, 77 psychology
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
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