Purdue University Graduate School
Thesis___Syeda_Iffat_Naz_Final.pdf (3.33 MB)

Machine Learning Classification of Facial Affect Recognition Deficits after Traumatic Brain Injury for Informing Rehabilitation Needs and Progress

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posted on 2021-01-07, 15:44 authored by Syeda Iffat NazSyeda Iffat Naz
A common impairment after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a deficit in emotional recognition, such as inferences of others’ intentions. Some researchers have found these impairments in 39\% of the TBI population. Our research information needed to make inferences about emotions and mental states comes from visually presented, nonverbal cues (e.g., facial expressions or gestures). Theory of mind (ToM) deficits after TBI are partially explained by impaired visual attention and the processing of these important cues. This research found that patients with deficits in visual processing differ from healthy controls (HCs). Furthermore, we found visual processing problems can be determined by looking at the eye tracking data developed from industry standard eye tracking hardware and software. We predicted that the eye tracking data of the overall population is correlated to the TASIT test. The visual processing of impaired (who got at least one answer wrong from TASIT questions) and unimpaired (who got all answer correctly from TASIT questions) differs significantly. We have divided the eye-tracking data into 3 second time blocks of time series data to detect the most salient individual blocks to the TASIT score. Our preliminary results suggest that we can predict the whole population's impairment using eye-tracking data with an improved f1 score from 0.54 to 0.73. For this, we developed optimized support vector machine (SVM) and random forest (RF) classifier.


Indiana Traumatic Spinal Cord & Brain Injury Research Grant Program 400-20-113


Degree Type

  • Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering


  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

Campus location

  • Indianapolis

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Lauren Christopher

Additional Committee Member 2

Brian King

Additional Committee Member 3

Dawn Neumann

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