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As part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN called Brainview, VicarVision is developing Baby FaceReader, a state of the art system to automatically detect infant facial expressions. Together with university and industry partners across Europe, Baby FaceReader will be used to address questions in developmental psychology related to affect and developmental disorders such as ASD.

Design, Validation, and Application of a Baby FaceReader

Early onset neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are rather common, and affect more than 30 million children in Europe. The chronic course and absence of curative methods of disorders cause a huge burden to the patients and their families and to society in general. These neurodevelopmental disorders are thought to result from the disruption of normal brain development and related neurobiological mechanisms during the prenatal and early postnatal period. The overall goal of Brainview is to understand the underlying mechanisms that lead to these neurodevelopmental disorders in studying social, attentional, motor and cognitive skills deficits. Our objective is to support the design and validation of the ‘Baby FaceReader’, particularly with respect to detection of early signs of autism in styles and patterns of baby face expression in interaction situations. Automatically quantifying baby’s facial expressions will assist studies in parent child interaction and shed light to possible early detection of these neurodevelopmental disorders.

VicarVision has received funding for 2015-2018 to host a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow within the BRAINVIEW Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network. The project is funded by Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions of the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme H2020-MSCA-ITN-2015 under REA grant agreement n° A140857.

BRAINVIEW – MsC INT Research Fellow in VicarVision Dhr. A. (Andreas) Maroulis, MA was hired in 2015 as Marie Curie Research Fellow in VicarVision. Subsequently he became a PhD candidate (2012-2015) at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at the Radboud University Medical Center- Nijmegen, the Netherlands. His supervisors are – prof.dr. J. (Jan) Buitelaar (RMC) and M. (Marten) den Uyl (Sentient Machine Research group). He is a certified FACS coder and has worked on improving automatic facial coding methods for the past 3 years. His academic interests are: facial expressions and emotion development, automatic behavior coding, early signs of autism, and deception.