Music: a unique window into the world of autism

Molnar-Szakacs, Istvan and Heaton, Pam F.. 2012. Music: a unique window into the world of autism. Annals of New York academy of sciences, 1252, pp. 318-324. ISSN 0077-8923 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Understanding emotions is fundamental to our ability to navigate the complex world of human social interaction. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) experience difficulties with the communication and understanding of emotions within the social domain. Their ability to interpret other people's nonverbal, facial, and bodily expressions of emotion is strongly curtailed. However, there is evidence to suggest that many individuals with ASD show a strong and early preference for music and are able to understand simple and complex musical emotions in childhood and adulthood. The dissociation between emotion recognition abilities in musical and social domains in individuals with ASD provides us with the opportunity to consider the nature of emotion processing difficulties characterizing this disorder. There has recently been a surge of interest in musical abilities in individuals with ASD, and this has motivated new behavioral and neuroimaging studies. Here, we review this new work. We conclude by providing some questions for future directions.

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1 January 2012Published
1 January 2012Accepted

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02 Feb 2017 17:34

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30 Jun 2017 15:41

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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