Omaha Science Cafe - "Autism and Neurodiversity"

Touch, sight, smell, hearing, taste. These are the senses every human being relies upon for a rich and full life. 

The team behind two of the Common Senses Festival art and science installations that explore human senses now on display at KANEKO will discuss their research on autism and neurodiversity during the next virtual Science Café at 9 a.m. on April 13. 

Presenters include Michael Hollins, director of community and business engagement for the iEXCEL program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; James Coleman, a doctoral student at Princeton University and Matthew Goodwin, PhD, interdisciplinary associate professor with joint appointments in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences and Khoury College of Computer Science. 

The two installations demonstrate a proof-of-concept project that determines if affective and physiological regulation in individuals with autism can be promoted through dynamic adjustments in the ambient environment, Hollins said.   

“In short, light, sound, smell and other sensorial stimuli within a space are designed to adjust to accommodate end-user comfort and enjoyment,” he said.  

Focusing on neurodiverse individuals and those on the autism spectrum, Coleman and Goodwin’s biosensor and atmosphere generating technologies create an interconnected relationship between the mood of the user and stimuli of their environment.  

“Think of a prescriptive environment that uses sensors to assess a person’s arousal state and then adjusts (lighting, sound, projections) to help someone self-regulate,” Hollins said. 

The virtual Science Café will be offered via Zoom and livestreamed to the Science Cafe Facebook page. Viewers do not need a Facebook account to view the livestream. 

Register here for the zoom link. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 9:00am to 10:00am

Virtual Event
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Nebraska Science Festival


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