ICDL-EpiRob 2018 Workshop on “Understanding Developmental Disorders: From Computational Models to Assistive Technologies”

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Aim and scope | Invited speakers | Program | Call for papers | Organizers

Date Monday, September 17th, 2018
Place Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan

This workshop will be held during ICDL-EpiRob 2018.

Aim and scope

The mechanisms of cognitive and developmental processes in humans are still far from being understood. It remains a mystery how our brain is capable of integrating high-dimensional sensory information from various sources in order to act and interact in a highly volatile environment. The amount of processing that our brain performs on an unconscious level becomes especially noticeable if the development of these mechanisms is atypical. Subjects with developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience various difficulties in everyday life, particularly in social interactions. The causes are assumed to lie with atypical perception as well as differences in cognitive processing during the course of development.

In order to provide assistance for people with developmental disorders, it is crucial to understand more about the underlying mechanisms of cognitive and social development. In recent years, a number of novel approaches emerged for explaining differences in cognitive processes, for instance, in terms of Bayesian inference. By replicating autistic behavior in computational models or robots, or by studying the interaction patterns of children with ASD in interaction with a robot, possible mechanisms of cognitive development can be identified and systematically evaluated. The understanding we can gain from such experiments can help to overcome difficulties in communication between people with and without such disorders.

Another pathway for providing assistance for people with developmental disorders targets at developing assistive technology directed specifically toward ASD subjects, offering them assistance in understanding and participating in social interactions, or allowing them to train and explore interaction skills in therapy with a robot.

This workshop focuses on these two ways of how to assist people with developmental disorders, and discusses what we can learn from these studies about cognitive development in general. To connect and reflect these ideas, insights from developmental psychology, cognitive sciences, robotics and computational modeling are taken into account, as well as the perspective of people with ASD themselves (“Tojisha-Kenkyu”).

Invited speakers

Tony Belpaeme (confirmed)
Professor of Cognitive Systems and Robotics
ID Labs, Ghent University, Belgium / CRNS, Plymouth University, UK

Socially assistive robots for ASD (DREAM project).

Sofiane Boucenna (pending)
Associate Professor
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Cergy-Pontoise, France

Modelling of cognitive mechanisms and the development of imitation in interaction with partners with/without ASD.

Shinichiro Kumagaya (confirmed)
Associate Professor
Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), The University of Tokyo

“Tojisha-Kenkyu” (self-study) of people with ASD.

Yasuyo Minagawa (confirmed)
Professor in Developmental Psychology
Keio University, Tokyo

Collaborator in the Social Imaging project which develops assistive technology for helping people with autism in understanding social processes.

Thusha Rajendran (confirmed)
Reader in Psychology
Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

Influence of new technologies on cognitive development of (ASD) children.

Tentative program

09:00-09:20 Welcome and introduction (Anja Philippsen)
09:20-10:00 Invited talk 1
10:00-10:40 Invited talk 2
10:40-11:00 Coffee break
11:00-11:40 Invited talk 3
11:40-12:00 Short talks (Poster)
Lunch break (12:00 – 13:30)
13:30-14:30 Poster session
14:30-15:10 Invited talk 4
15:10-15:20 Coffee break
15:20-16:00 Invited talk 5
16:00-16:40 Discussion
16:40-17:00 Conclusions and farewell

Call for papers

We invite the submission of 2-page paper abstracts which will be presented during the poster session.

Submission opens in mid-June 2018.


    • Anja Philippsen (National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan)
    • Yukie Nagai (National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan)