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Posts with tag elisabeth-whyte

Well-known druid blogger Lissanna lowers the boom(kin) on autism research

It's only been a couple of weeks since we reported on the crowdsourcing effort to fund the autism research of well-known Restokin blogger and Blizzard MVP poster Lissanna, aka Dr. Elisabeth Whyte of the Laboratory of Developmental Neuroscience at Penn State. So far, supporters have boosted Dr. Whyte to just over a quarter of her funding goal for the project, which focuses on how children and adolescents with autism understand language and process information from faces (such as recognizing people or understanding emotional expressions). Her goal: designing a video game to help kids with autism improve these skills.

How does an MMO-playing grad student transform from anonymous gamer to well-known WoW blogger, Blizzard forum MVP, and Ph.D.-level researcher bringing gamification to the treatment of autism? If you follow the example of this lady: with ease.

WoW Insider: One-fourth of your funding already under your belt -- congratulations! Our readers already know that WoW can be beneficial to kids with autism, so it's exciting to hear about a gamification project designed to help kids with autism.

Lissanna: Many kids and adults with autism seem to enjoy playing video games. We have some evidence that using fun activities can motivate learning. Our goal is to develop and test the efficacy of an educational game that impacts face processing abilities and social skills. With much of the research focused on important early intervention work, there is a huge gap in the services that individuals with autism can receive when they are older. We think that a sophisticated game can fill the need for social skills services targeting older individuals to help with tasks like preparing them for jobs or developing friendships with their peers.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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