Brief Report: Biological Sound Processing in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder
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- Lortie, M., Proulx-Bégin, L., Saint-Amour, D. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2017) 47: 1904. doi:10.1007/s10803-017-3093-5
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There is debate whether social impairments in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are truly domain-specific, or if they reflect generalized deficits in lower-level cognitive processes. To solve this issue, we used auditory-evoked EEG responses to assess novelty detection (MMN component) and involuntary attentional orientation (P3 component) induced by socially-relevant, human-produced, biological sounds and acoustically-matched control stimuli in children with ASD and controls. Results show that early sensory and novelty processing of biological stimuli are preserved in ASD, but that automatic attentional orientation for biological sounds is markedly altered. These results support the notion that at least some cognitive processes of ASD are specifically altered when it comes to processing social stimuli.