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Audiovisual speech integration in autism spectrum disorders: ERP evidence for atypicalities in lexical-semantic processing

Megnin, Odette and Flitton, Atlanta and Jones, Catherine R G and de Haan, Michelle and Baldeweg, Torsten and Charman, Tony (2011) 'Audiovisual speech integration in autism spectrum disorders: ERP evidence for atypicalities in lexical-semantic processing.' Autism Research, 5 (1). pp. 39-48. ISSN 1939-3792

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Abstract

In typically developing (TD) individuals, behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) studies suggest that audiovisual (AV) integration enables faster and more efficient processing of speech. However, little is known about AV speech processing in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This study examined ERP responses to spoken words to elucidate the effects of visual speech (the lip movements accompanying a spoken word) on the range of auditory speech processing stages from sound onset detection to semantic integration. The study also included an AV condition, which paired spoken words with a dynamic scrambled face in order to highlight AV effects specific to visual speech. Fourteen adolescent boys with ASD (15–17 years old) and 14 age- and verbal IQ-matched TD boys participated. The ERP of the TD group showed a pattern and topography of AV interaction effects consistent with activity within the superior temporal plane, with two dissociable effects over frontocentral and centroparietal regions. The posterior effect (200–300?ms interval) was specifically sensitive to lip movements in TD boys, and no AV modulation was observed in this region for the ASD group. Moreover, the magnitude of the posterior AV effect to visual speech correlated inversely with ASD symptomatology. In addition, the ASD boys showed an unexpected effect (P2 time window) over the frontocentral region (pooled electrodes F3, Fz, F4, FC1, FC2, FC3, FC4), which was sensitive to scrambled face stimuli. These results suggest that the neural networks facilitating processing of spoken words by visual speech are altered in individuals with ASD.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: auditory; ASD; ERP; language; multisensory; visual
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2012 08:54
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2012 08:54
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/2808

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