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BBL Speaker Series: Assistive Smartwatch Application to Support Neurodiverse Adults with Emotion Regulation

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Speaker: Vivian Motti, Assistant Professor, Department of Information Sciences and Technology, George Mason University Location: HBK 2105

Abstract: Emotion regulation is an essential skill for young adults, impacting their prospects for employment, education and interpersonal relationships. For neurodiverse individuals, self-regulating their emotions is challenging. Thus, to provide them support, caregivers often offer individualized assistance. Despite being effective, such an approach is also limited. Wearables have a promising potential to address such limitations, helping individuals on demand, recognizing their affective state, and also suggesting coping strategies in a personalized, consistent and unobtrusive way.  In this talk I present the results of a user-centered design project on assistive smartwatches for emotion regulation. We conducted interviews and applied questionnaires to formally characterize emotion regulation. We involved neurodiverse adults as well as parents, caregivers, and assistants as active participants in the project. After eliciting the application requirements, we developed an assistive smartwatch application to assist neurodiverse adults with emotion regulation. The app was implemented, tested and evaluated in field studies. I conclude this talk discussing the role of smartwatches to deliver regulation strategies, their benefits and limitations, as well as the users’ perspectives about the technology. Bio: Vivian Genaro Motti is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Sciences and Technology at George Mason University where she leads the Human-Centric Design Lab (HCD Lab). Her research focuses on Human Computer Interaction, Ubiquitous Computing, Assistive Wearables, and Usable Privacy. She is the principal investigator for a NIDILRR-funded project on assistive smartwatches for neurodiverse adults. Her research has been funded by NSF, TeachAccess, VRIF CCI, and 4-VA.