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This project involves the design and development of an interactive screening program for emotional intelligence. Understanding the emotional state of non-communicative individuals is a challenge for practitioners and caregivers of people with cognitive disabilities. This projects aims to develop an Emotional Intelligence Screener which combines biosensor measures of ElectroDermal Activity (EDA) and Eye gaze measures of pupil dilation and intensity of gaze in an integrated computer-based screening program.
Analyzing emotional states has traditionally been conducted with obtrusive devices connected to an individual often sitting in front of a monitor for biofeedback sessions. However, recent advances in biofeedback hardware have enabled professionals to gain an insight into specific measures of human emotions unobtrusively. These include signals of heartbeat, skin conductivity, eye movements and gaze intensity which have been established as measures of separate emotional states and can be measured remotely (i.e. without physical connections between the device and child).

In recent years, combining measures from biosensors have been explored by HCI researchers as viable techniques for effectively capturing emotional states and interpreting them over time. Interestingly, this domain has been attractive for neuro-marketing and consumer behavior research in business fields, and it has only been recently recognized as a potential tool for assisting non-communicative people with disabilities. The proposed system aims to combine physiological measures of eye gaze, temperature, motion and skin conductivity in a computer-based screening program. The system provides post-session analysis of emotional arousal and reports on emotional intelligence in response to clinical stimuli. The objective is to provide individuals with cognitive disabilities who experience difficulties in expressing their feelings with an alternate form of communicating their emotional states or measuring their emotional arousal in clinical screening and occupational therapy sessions.
Aims and Objectives: This project aims to develop a screening program for emotional intelligence for individuals with cognitive impairments. The objectives are incorporating technologies of biosensors and eye gaze capture with an interactive computer-based screening program comprised of stimuli-sets designed to elicit emotional response from viewers.
Key contributions: Deliverables of this multidisciplinary project aim to assist practitioners in the field with screening and therapy as well as researchers in HCI design of assistive technologies and healthcare domains. These include:
1. Screening tool for measuring emotional intelligence. This tool can be used in clinical screening and in occupational therapy sessions.
2. Insights to a person's emotional state can be gained by the proposed system's data processing methods, which might not otherwise be detectable. This could give healthcare professionals, caregivers and researchers more insight--and possibly a way to anticipate-- the harmful behaviors caused by emotional arousal in nonverbal individuals.
Project Team: Dania Alomar, Dr. Areej Al-Wabil, Dr. Manar Fawzi
Seminar describing preliminary results