, Volume 38, Issue 10, pp 1819-1826,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Gender in Voice Perception in Autism

Abstract

Deficits in the perception of social stimuli may contribute to the characteristic impairments in social interaction in high functioning autism (HFA). Although the cortical processing of voice is abnormal in HFA, it is unclear whether this gives rise to impairments in the perception of voice gender. About 20 children with HFA and 20 matched controls were presented with voice fragments that were parametrically morphed in gender. No differences were found in the perception of gender between the two groups of participants, but response times differed significantly. The results suggest that the perception of voice gender is not impaired in HFA, which is consistent with behavioral findings of an unimpaired voice-based identification of age and identity by individuals with autism. The differences in response times suggest that individuals with HFA use different perceptual approaches from those used by typically developing individuals.