Can children with autistic spectrum disorders perceive affect in music? An experimental investigation
Heaton, Pam F.; Hermelin, Beate and Pring, Linda. 1999. Can children with autistic spectrum disorders perceive affect in music? An experimental investigation. Psychological Medicine, pp. 1405-1410. [Article]No full text available
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Abstract or Description
BACKGROUND: Children with autistic spectrum disorders typically show impairments in processing affective information within social and interpersonal domains. It has yet to be established whether such difficulties persist in the area of music; a domain which is characteristically rich in emotional content.
METHODS: Fourteen children with autism and Asperger syndrome and their age and intelligence matched controls were tested for their ability to identify the affective connotations of melodies in the major or minor musical mode. They were required to match musical fragments with schematic representations of happy and sad faces.
RESULTS: The groups did not differ in their ability to ascribe the musical examples to the two affective categories.
CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to their performance within social and interpersonal domains, children with autistic disorders showed no deficits in processing affect in musical stimuli.