Rendere l'interazione accessibile: realtà virtuale e aumentata per il contatto visivo nell'au­tismo


  • Federica Cavaletti University of Milan - Department of Philosophy "Piero Martinetti"



People with Autism Spectrum Disorder frequently struggle with eye contact, i.e. the ability to reciprocate another person’s direct look. This restricts their access to social interaction and thus constitutes a considerable barrier to social inclusion. This paper explores the possibility to employ virtual and augmented reality to devise training programs aimed at improving eye contact skills in the population at stake.

The paper starts with a critique of the use of virtual reality, highlighting some of its limitations: most importantly, the discomfort generated by most headsets. Hence, the paper proposes a shift towards augmented reality. By comparing the two technologies, it argues that augmented reality can be perceptually less challenging and less distressing, thus creating more favourable training conditions. Augmented reality, the paper concludes, may become an important component of future interventions targeting social inclusion for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.