Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Characterizing ASD phenotypes by multimedia signal and natural language processing  

A major challenge facing autism research is the lack of objective measures to characterize the disorder's various phenotypes. More quantitative phenotypic measures, derived objectively from biological measurements, would facilitate genetic association studies by allowing biologically heterogeneous populations to be categorized into subgroups. They could also help refine diagnostic procedures. NoƩmie Elhadad from Columbia University and Partha Mitra from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory plan to address this issue using data from the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC), a cohort of families that have one child with autism and unaffected siblings and parents. The SSC includes video recordings of patients undergoing the Autism Diagnosis Observation Schedule (ADOS) protocol, a standardized interview for assessing and diagnosing autism. The researchers plan to analyze these recordings using two techniques: natural language processing, which evaluates linguistic features of the subjects' speech, such as intonation and use of unusual word combinations, and multimedia signal processing, which assesses audiovisual elements of the recordings such as the speakers' facial emotions and where they are looking. They will then combine the findings with the subjects' ADOS scores and other demographic and clinical features to develop a set of quantitative phenotypic measures for autism. The processed data will be added to the SSC knowledge base for use by other researchers. Elhadad and Mitra also plan to make their linguistic and audiovisual analysis platform publicly available. Project Status


Funder Simons Foundation
Fiscal Year Funding $263,302.50
Current Award Period 2009-2012
Project Number 137297
Principal Investigator Elhadad, Noemie
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 1: When Should I Be Concerned? (Diagnosis)
Subcategory Intermediate Phenotypes/Subgroups
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 1LC. Identify and develop measures to assess at least three "continuous dimensions" (i.e., social reciprocity, communication disorders, and repetitive/restrictive behaviors) of ASD symptoms and severity that can be used by practitioners and/or families to assess response to intervention for people with ASD across the lifespan by 2016. IACC Recommended Budget: $18,500,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution Columbia University
State/Country New York
Web Link 1 Characterizing ASD phenotypes by multimedia signal and natural language processing (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Characterizing ASD phenotypes by multimedia signal and natural language processing | $65,726.00 | 2009 | 137297