Cause & Effect in Eye-Gaze Technology: What effect does “teaching” have on task performance?

  • Griffiths, T. (Speaker)
  • Susannah Davis (Contributor)
  • Michael T. Clarke (Contributor)
  • John Swettenham (Contributor)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


The use of eye-gaze control technologies as a method to access computers and AAC devices is increasingly widespread for children with severe motor impairments. Often, such technologies are introduced to children at a young developmental age, with the goal of teaching them the core skills needed to control them. Previous work has suggested typically developing children with a developmental age of 18-24 months were not able to independently complete an activity consisting of learning the functions of two different onscreen buttons and using this knowledge to complete a cause and effect task. Results suggested that development of sustained attention may be an important factor in learning to use eye-gaze technology.

This paper will present a follow-up study with typically developing children. All children will first complete a physical cause and effect task drawn from standard developmental testing, in order to ensure they have established this skill. The experimental phase of the study will use a similar task to that described above, presented on both eye-gaze and touchscreen technology, with the order in which they trial the technologies randomised. The experiments will now include a “teaching” component, in which children are provided with feedback after each trial of the task and modelling of the task is carried out in the event that children are unable to learn the task independently.

The study seeks to address the following research questions:
(1) Can children who demonstrate cause and effect understanding using physical and touchscreen tasks apply this knowledge to control of an eye-gaze system?
(2) What effect does explanation of the task have on performance?

At the time of submission, data collection is underway and the results will be presented in this paper, together with demonstration of the tasks and discussion of the implications of this study for future research and clinical practice.
Period9 Sept 2018
Event titleCommunication Matters: International Conference 2018
Event typeConference
LocationLeeds, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational