Exploring speech processing in high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorders : The cognitive, behavioural and clinical correlates associated with atypical auditory processing.

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Mayer, Jennifer
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: genetic structures | behavioral disciplines and activities

Although high-functioning individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) develop a range of language skills, results from both behavioural and neuroimaging studies suggest that speech perception is atypical. Previous research carried out with children with ASD has revealed enhanced sensitivity to the psychoacoustic qualities of speech, but the extent that this is characteristic of adults has yet to be investigated. Indeed, little is known about the impact of atypical auditory processing on speech perception in intellectually high-functioning adults. The aim of this thesis is to identify any specific difficulties in speech perception and to investigate potential links between these and the social and communication deficits and sensory abnormalities characterising ASD.\ud \ud The studies described in this thesis test the effects of atypical perceptual processing using auditory Stroop paradigms and same-different pitch detection tasks and also address questions about how temporal and prosodic manipulations influence memory encoding and retrieval in sentence repetition tasks. The main findings showed that whilst adults with ASD were affected by prosodic and temporal manipulations to speech during higher-order tasks, this was similar to that observed in typically developing adults. Furthermore, adults with ASD did not reveal superior speech pitch discrimination previously observed in children with ASD. Taken together these findings suggest that high-functioning adults with ASD respond to perceptual manipulations carried out on speech stimuli in similar ways to typical controls. However, correlation and regression analyses carried out on the cognitive, behavioural and clinical data suggest that different mechanisms underlie perceptual and recall performance in the two groups and intelligence and symptom severity appear to be associated with the extent that atypical perception, encoding and recall of speech stimuli are manifested.
  • References (128)
    128 references, page 1 of 13

    Chapter 5: Temporal Influences on Sentence Recall....................................................... 129!

    Recall Time Analysis........................................................................................... 144!

    Correlation Analysis ............................................................................................ 148!

    Regression Analysis ............................................................................................ 154! NonVSubordinate!Clause!..........................................................................................................!197! Subordinate!Clause!..................................................................................................................!199! Discussion................................................................................................................ 201!

    Chapter 7: Examining Perceptual and Semantic Processing Biases in Auditory Stroop

    Paradigms ........................................................................................................................ 206! Summary.................................................................................................................. 206! Introduction ............................................................................................................. 207! Experiment 5a: Testing Semantic and Percpetual Processing Biases in Typical Populations Using an Auditory Pitch Stroop Paradigm .............................................. 212! Aims..................................................................................................................... 212! Hypotheses........................................................................................................... 213!

    Methods ................................................................................................................... 213! Participants and Background Measures............................................................... 213! Experimental Methods......................................................................................... 214! Experimental!Stimuli!................................................................................................................!214! Procedure!................................................................................................................................!215! Analysis!....................................................................................................................................!217! Results ..................................................................................................................... 217! Data Cleaning ...................................................................................................... 217! Reaction Time Analysis....................................................................................... 218! Regression Analysis ............................................................................................ 221! Summary of Experiment 5a ..................................................................................... 223!

    Experiment 5b: Testing Semantic and Perceptual Processing Biases in Typical

    Populations Using an Auditory Timbre Stroop Paradigm ........................................... 224! Aims..................................................................................................................... 224! Hypotheses........................................................................................................... 224!

    Methods ................................................................................................................... 225! Participants and Background Measures............................................................... 225!

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