Enhanced perceptual processing of speech in autism

Järvinen-Pasley, Anna; Wallace, Gregory L.; Ramus, Franck; Happe, Francesca and Heaton, Pam F.. 2008. Enhanced perceptual processing of speech in autism. Developmental Science, 11(1), pp. 109-121. ISSN 1363-755X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Theories of autism have proposed that a bias towards low-level perceptual information, or a featural/surface-biased information-processing style, may compromise higher-level language processing in such individuals. Two experiments, utilizing linguistic stimuli with competing low-level/perceptual and high-level/semantic information, tested processing biases in children with autism and matched controls. Whereas children with autism exhibited superior perceptual processing of speech relative to controls, and showed no evidence of either a perceptual or semantic processing bias, controls showed a tendency to process speech semantically. The data provide partial support to the perceptual theories of autism. It is additionally proposed that the pattern of results may reflect different patterns of attentional focusing towards single or multiple stimulus cues in speech between children with autism and controls.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Research Office > REF2014


January 2008Published

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Date Deposited:

21 Mar 2011 10:30

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2017 15:41

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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