UEL College of Applied Health & Communities Seminar Series Date: Tuesday 25th June 2019 Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm Room: Arthur Edwards Building, Ground floor, VR Lab Eye contact and ASD: Psychophysiological responses and effectiveness of a parent-led intervention

Dr Anneli Kylliainen, Academy Research Fellow, Tampere University, Finland, and Dr Terhi Helminen, Lecturer, and Head, Psychology Clinic, Tampere University, Finland.


The Autism and Gaze –project from Tampere University, Finland, will be presented. They have used eye tracking, heart rate deceleration and EEG frontal asymmetry to measure responses to direct gaze in young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In addition, they will present the findings of their pilot intervention in which the parents were thought to tempt eye contact from their child with ASD.


Dr Anneli Kylliainen is Academy Research Fellow from Tampere University, Finland. In her Autism and Gaze –project, she has studied psychophysiological responses to direct gaze in young children with autism spectrum disorder. The project also included a parent-led pilot intervention in which the parents were taught to motivate their child to make eye contact in everyday situations. Currently, the project is expanded to study whether psychophysiological responses to direct gaze can be used as additional early markers to aid the early detection of toddlers with autistic behaviour. Dr Kylliainen is also a clinical neuropsychologist and a trainer of ADOS-2 and ADI-R. In addition to autism research, she is participating in the CHILD-SLEEP project, which investigates the long-term significance of early sleep for cognitive, social and emotional development.

Research gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anneli_Kylliaeinen

Dr Terhi Helminen is a researcher and clinical neuropsychologist, working with children with autism and with other developmental difficulties. Currently she is working as a university lecturer and as a head of a psychology clinic at the Tampere University, combining research, clinical work and teaching in her daily work.

In her PhD dissertation that was completed 2017, Dr Helminen focused on physiological responses to eye contact in typical adults and in children with and without ASD (https://tampub.uta.fi/handle/10024/101652). She has worked in the Autism and Gaze –project and used a wide range of psychophysiological methods (heart rate, skin conductance, pupillometry, EEG) and eye tracking in experimental research. She is also a trainer of ADOS-2 and ADI-R and familiar with interventions related to autism. 

Research gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Terhi_Helminen

Session Chair:  Dr. Sam Wass, School of Psychology

Details are also in the Psychology Sharepoint calendar:


All staff and students are welcome. There is no need to rsvp.

We will also try to record the talk (if the presenter gives us permission) and it will be available on Moodle on the Psychology noticeboard. Here’s a link to previous talks and where this talk will be:


For any queries about the recording, please follow up with our Chief Technician, Kevin Head.

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