Head Dynamics during Naturalistic Conversations

Advances in computational behavior analysis have the potential to increase our understanding of behavioral patterns and developmental trajectories in neurotypical individuals, as well as in individuals with mental health conditions marked by motor, social, and emotional difficulties. This study focuses on investigating how head movement patterns during face–to–face conversations vary with age from childhood through adulthood. We rely on computer vision techniques due to their suitability for analysis of social behaviors in naturalistic settings, since video data capture can be unobtrusively embedded within conversations between two social partners. The methods in this work include unsupervised learning for movement pattern clustering, and supervised classification and regression as a function of age. The results demonstrate that 3–minute video recordings of head movements during conversations show patterns that distinguish between participants that are younger vs. older than 12 years with accuracy. Additionally, we extract relevant patterns of head movement upon which the age distinction was determined by our models.


Denisa Qori McDonald, Casey J. Zampella, Evangelos Sariyanidi, Aashvi Manakiwala, Ellis DeJardin, John D. Herrington, Robert T. Schultz, and Birkan Tunç. Head Movement Patterns during Face-to-Face Conversations Vary with Age. International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI) Companion. Bengaluru, India, 2022.