A late-emerging auditory deficit in autism.

Mayalen Erviti, Catherine Semal, Beverly A. Wright, Anouck Amestoy, Manuel P. Bouvard, Laurent Demany
Neuropsychology. 2015-01-01; 29(3): 454-462
DOI: 10.1037/neu0000162

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1. Neuropsychology. 2015 May;29(3):454-62. doi: 10.1037/neu0000162. Epub 2014 Dec

A late-emerging auditory deficit in autism.

Erviti M(1), Semal C(1), Wright BA(2), Amestoy A(3), Bouvard MP(3), Demany L(3).

Author information:
(1)Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.
(2)Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University.
(3)Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d’Aquitaine, UMR CNRS
5287, Université de Bordeaux.

OBJECTIVE: Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) show enhanced
perceptual and memory abilities in the domain of pitch, but also perceptual
deficits in other auditory domains. The present study investigated their skills
with respect to « echoic memory, » a form of short-term sensory memory intimately
tied to auditory perception, using a developmental perspective.
METHOD: We tested 23 high-functioning participants with ASD and 26 typically
developing (TD) participants, distributed in two age groups (children vs. young
adults; mean ages: ∼11 and ∼21 years). By means of an adaptive psychophysical
procedure, we measured the longest period for which periodic (i.e., repeated)
noise could be reliably discriminated from nonperiodic (i.e., plain random)
noise. On each experimental trial, a single noise sample was presented to the
participant, who had to classify this sound as periodic or nonperiodic.
RESULTS: The TD adults performed, on average, much better than the other three
groups, who performed similarly overall. As a function of practice, the measured
thresholds improved for the TD participants, but did not change for the ASD
participants. Thresholds were not correlated to performance in a test assessing
verbal memory. The variance of the participants’ response biases was larger among
the ASD participants than among the TD participants.
CONCLUSION: The results mainly suggest that echoic memory takes a long time to
fully develop in TD humans, and that this development stops prematurely in
persons with ASD.

(c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

DOI: 10.1037/neu0000162
PMID: 25495831 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus