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The DECT (Dynamic Emotion Categorization Test) was in its first version an interactive computer-based tool created to assess the feasibility of using real-time animations by comparing virtual characters to video clips of human actors. The implementation of the test using our software development framework Frapper, brought together the teams at the University Medical Center Freiburg and Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg for the first time in 2009.

In SARA, the DECT has gone under some modifications, resulting in three versions (currently), which are used in the different experiments carried at the University Medical Center Freiburg. The first version, R-DECT was implemented and executed in the context of a pilot study to assess “Rapid Social Cognition" of children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

The second version called NPR-DECT comprises one of the novelties of our project: the use of NPR algorithms to abstract and manipulate visuo-spatial information in the faces of our virtual characters, reducing the information load in the characters’ facial expressions.

The third version called i-DECT is the one with the highest interactivity, stimulating a visual interaction between the participant and the virtual character. This test will study the differences in eye contact and mutual gaze between neurotypical subjects and subjects with ASD. The experiments with the i-DECT are currently being carried out in Freiburg.