Virtual Reality Social Cognition Training for children with high functioning autism

Nyaz Didehbani, Tandra Allen, Michelle Kandalaft, Daniel Krawczyk, Sandra Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

251 Scopus citations


Virtual reality appears to be a promising and motivating platform to safely practice and rehearse social skills for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). However, the literature to date is subject to limitations in elucidating the effectiveness of these virtual reality interventions. This study investigated the impact of a Virtual Reality Social Cognition Training to enhance social skills in children with ASD. Thirty children between the ages of 7–16 diagnosed with ASD completed 10, 1-h sessions across 5 weeks. Three primary domains were measured pre-post: emotion recognition, social attribution, attention and executive function. Results revealed improvements on measures of emotion recognition, social attribution, and executive function of analogical reasoning. These preliminary findings suggest that the use of a virtual reality platform offers an effective treatment option for improving social impairments commonly found in ASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-711
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Autism
  • Intervention
  • Pediatric
  • Social cognition
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)


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