Leanne Chukoskie Biography

Leanne Chukoskie

Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Science
Bouvé College of Health Sciences and Games in the College of Arts, Media and Design

[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Sensor-integration in games and designed experiences
Measuring cognitive and motor function across the lifespan
Improving workforce development pathways for neurodivergent talent


Dr. Chukoskie is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, Movement, and Rehabilitation Science in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, and the Games Program in the College of Arts, Media, and Design at Northeastern University. Her lab examines cognitive and physical indicators of well-being across the lifespan. She enjoys collaborating broadly with clinicians, engineers, and educators to expand the interdisciplinary reach of her work. Her research on gaze-driven video games for intervention and assessment has been funded by NIH for children on the autism spectrum and older adults experiencing cognitive decline.

Project Description

Older adults are an increasing demographic that faces a range of challenges in maintaining their physical and mental well-being. Older players are also the fastest growing demographic in games. Generations that grew up en masse playing games are starting to reach their fifties. The older audience of digital games has grown rapidly from 40.2 million to 50.6 million in the US between 2015 and 2019 and projected at 100+ million by 2045. At the same time, a growing number of studies show how games can benefit older adults’ health and social wellbeing. Games, through their motivational characteristics and interactive affordances, provide many health benefits for older adults, including: brain health, exergaming, physical and occupational rehabilitation, mental health support, self-cultivation, social health, intergenerational exchange, and lifelong learning through games. However, both the game industry and academia are underprepared to serve this audience’s need for meaningful activities that facilitate improved health, quality of life, and community engagement during their expanded free time. Limited research exists on games for older adults, particularly for those who grew up playing and have personal and cultural connections to games, yet they are almost entirely off the game industry’s radar, consistently stereotyped, and in need of healthy environments to play and convene. Representation of older adults in games ranges from problematic to nonexistent.
Our Northeastern team of scholars in game design, health science, and design for older adults are collaborating to study Games for Life. As the first step, we propose an intergenerational game jam to co-develop games with older adults and promote their health equity through intergenerational and community connections, in partnership with IndieCade, an international festival of independent games. Research by our team identifies intergenerational play between older adults and their younger family members to be an underexplored opportunity. The project aims to connect game design with the positive impact of gaminiscing in the hopes of providing a mutually beneficial experience for the intergenerational design teams. The end-result of this collaboration would provide older adults with rarely heard voice within the indie game development scene.

Publications – Past Three Years

Rengarajan, S., Cannon, J., Baron, B., Mohan, N., Chukoskie, L. (2022). Measuring the Interaction of Conflict-Minimizing and Goal-Seeking Motor Imperatives in Autism Spectrum Disorder. ISAGA 2022 

Hollister, B., Nair, P., Hill-Lindsay, S., & Chukoskie, L. (2022). Engagement in Online Learning: Student Attitudes and Behavior During COVID-19. Frontiers in Education. https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2022.851019 

Takarae, Y., Zanesco, A., Keehn, B., Chukoskie, L., Müller, R-A., Townsend, J. (2022). EEG microstates suggest atypical resting-state network activity in high-functioning children and adolescents with autism spectrum development. Dev. Sci. https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.13231 

Mahanama, B. *, Jayawardana, Y.*, Rengarajan, S.*, Jayawardana, G.*, Chukoskie, L., Snider, J., Jayarathna, S. (2022). Eye Movement and Pupil Measures: A Review. Frontiers in Computer Science Human-Media Interaction. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcomp.2021.733531 

Adamos, T.*, Chukoskie, L., Townsend, J., & Trauner, D. (2022). Spatial attention in children with perinatal stroke. Behavioural Brain Research417, 113614. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2021.113614

Wang, Y.*, Xiong, H.*, Liu, S.*, Jung, A., Stone, T., Chukoskie, L. (2021). Simulation game based on an agent-based model to demonstrate the transmission of COVID-19 and effectiveness of different public health strategies.  Frontiers in Computer Science – Human Media Interaction. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcomp.2021.642321 

Artiran, S.*, Chukoskie, L., Jung, A., Miller, I., Cosman, P.C. (2021) “HMM-based Detection of Head Nods to Evaluate Conversational Engagement from Head Motion Data, EUSIPCO 2021. 

Tepencelik, O.N. *, Wei, W.*, Chukoskie, L., Cosman, P.C., Dey S., (2021). “Head and Body Orientation Estimation with Privacy Preserving LiDAR Sensors in Surveillance Settings EUSIPCO 2021.  

Suarez, N.A. *, Roshdy, E. *, Bakke, D.*, Chiba, A.A.., Chukoskie, L. (2021). “Hands-on Learning in a Hands-off World: Project-based learning as a method of student engagement and support during the COVID-19 crisis”. COVID-19 and Education Book, Santa Rosa, California: Informing Science Press. 

Snider, J., Spence, R. J.*, Engler, A. M., Moran, R., Hacker, S., Chukoskie, L., Townsend, J., & Hill, L. (2021). Distraction “Hangover”: Characterization of the Delayed Return to Baseline Driving Risk After Distracting Behaviors. Human Factors, 187208211012218. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/00187208211012218

Matsuno, M.*, Auzene, D.*, Chukoskie, L. (2020). “All bets are off”: Flexible engagement with music-listening technologies by autistic adultsPsychology of Music, 49(6),1573-1588. https://doi.org/10.1177/0305735620971037

Hill, L., townsend, J.,. Snider, J., Spence, R. J., Engler, A. M., Moran, R., Hacker, S., & Chukoskie, L. (2021). Distraction “Hangover”: Characterization of the Delayed Return to Baseline Driving Risk After Distracting Behaviors. Human Factors, 187208211012218. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/00187208211012218

Venuprasad, P.*, Xu, L.*, Huang, E.*, Gilman, A., Chukoskie., L., Cosman, P. (2020) Analyzing Gaze Behavior Using Object Detection and Unsupervised Clustering. Eye Tracking Research Association Meeting. June 2020 (accepted but meeting in Stuttgart postponed to 2021).  

Amit, M., Chukoskie, L., Skalsky, A. J., Garudadri, H., & Ng, T. N. (2019). Flexible Pressure Sensors of Objective Assessment of Motor Disorders. Advanced Functional Materials, 30(20), 1905241. https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201905241

Snider, J. & Chukoskie, L. (2019). Gaze-based Video Games for Assessment of Attention Outside of the Lab. IEEE Healthcare Innovations and Point of Care Technologies, (2019), 49-52. https://doi.org/10.1109/HI-POCT45284.2019.8962737

Venuprasad, P.*, Dobhal, T.*, Paul, A.*, Nguyen, T. M. N.*, Gilman, A., Cosman, P., Chukoskie, L. (2019). Characterizing Joint Attention Behavior during Real World Interactions using Automated Object and Gaze Detection. ETRA ’19: Proceedings of the 11ths ACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research & Applications, Denver, CO, United States. 

 Simmons, T.*, Snider, J., Amit, M., Ng, T-N, Townsend, J., Chukoskie, L. (2019). An Objective System for Quantifying the Effect of Cognitive Load on Movement in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 2019 9th International IEEE/EMBS Conference on Neural Engineeringhttps://doi.org/10.1109/NER.2019.8717022

Suarez, N.A.*, Samano, M.*, Yu, S.*, Snyder, S., Chukoskie, L. (2019) Research-Practice Partnerships in STEM Informal Learning Environments. 21st CENTURY EDUCATION: THE LEARNER, THE ENVIRONMENT. OECD Publications. 

*Student Researchers