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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32964

Title: Physiologically-mediated Interaction between Children with Profound Disabilities and Their Environment
Authors: Blain, Stefanie Lup Mun
Advisor: Chau, Tom
Mihailidis, Alex
Department: Rehabilitation Science
Keywords: disability
autonomic nervous system
Issue Date: 5-Sep-2012
Abstract: This thesis explores the physiologically-mediated interactions between children with profound disabilities and their environment. Using a structure inspired by the musical theme and variation compositional form, the concept of using physiological signals to enrich person-environment interaction will be addressed in two themes. The first theme explores how children with profound disabilities can use their physiological signals to interact with their environment. The variations on this theme: 1) appraise the literature and establish that peripheral autonomic nervous system signals can be controlled by mental activities; 2) present an algorithm that classifies an individual’s mental state using patterns of electrodermal activity to an accuracy of over 80%, and; 3) discusses the challenges with and potential solutions to creating an physiologically-based interaction pathway for children with profound disabilities. The second theme explores how physiological signals can be used to assess the effect of the environmental milieu on a child with profound disabilities. The variations on this theme: 1) demonstrate the effects of the built environment on the life activities of a severely disabled individual by developing and evaluating the effects of a custom-tailored computer access technology; 2) illustrate how the physiological signals of profoundly disabled children are influenced by their social environment by studying the effect of Therapeutic Clowns on children in a long-term rehabilitation setting; and 3) illustrate how differential physiological responses to sounds in the environmental milieu can be used to inform and improve voluntary physiologically-mediated person-environment interaction. The coda of the thesis presents a conceptual framework that has the potential to enrich the interaction between profoundly disabled children and their environment, using music generated from physiological signal patterns to modify their environmental milieu, constructs of personhood and their identity.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32964
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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