Facial motion capture is a technology used in computer animation to simulate the facial expressions of real people.
A new research used the technology on children with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) and on those with other types of speech disorders to identify the differences between the two.
"In our study, we see evidence of a movement deficit in children with apraxia of speech, but more importantly, aspects of their speech movements look different from children with other speech disorders," said study author Maria Grigos, associate professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
Scientists placed tiny reflective markers on the child's face and, using motion capture technology, were able to measure facial movements by watching how the lips and jaw moved. This adds a layer of understanding that isn't apparent if you're just listening to the speaker.
"This research enables us to look at the movement patterns used to produce a word in relation to the way that word is perceived. Including the perceptual component is key because as clinicians, we rely heavily on the judgments we make when listening to children speak. One of our aims was to determine if we could identify differences in how the lips and jaw move even when speech is perceived to be accurate by the listener," Grigos said