Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 46, Issue 7, pp 2539–2547 | Cite as

Brief Report: Suboptimal Auditory Localization in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Support for the Bayesian Account of Sensory Symptoms

  • Joshua C. SkewesEmail author
  • Line Gebauer
Brief Report


Convergent research suggests that people with ASD have difficulties localizing sounds in space. These difficulties have implications for communication, the development of social behavior, and quality of life. Recently, a theory has emerged which treats perceptual symptoms in ASD as the product of impairments in implicit Bayesian inference; as suboptimalities in the integration of sensory evidence with prior perceptual knowledge. We present the results of an experiment that applies this new theory to understanding difficulties in auditory localization, and we find that adults with ASD integrate prior information less optimally when making perceptual judgments about the spatial sources of sounds. We discuss these results in terms of their implications for formal models of symptoms in ASD.


Sensory symptoms Auditory localization Bayesian models 



This project has been supported by seed funding from the Interacting Minds Centre, Department of Culture and Society, Aarhus University. We thank three anonymous reviewers for their help in improving the paper.

Author Contributions

Joshua Skewes designed and conceived the study, analysed the data, and wrote the manuscript. Line Gebauer co-designed the study, collected the data, and contributed to the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Culture and Society, Interacting Minds CentreAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.Centre of Functionally Integrative NeuroscienceAarhus University HospitalsAarhusDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Psychology and Behavioural SciencesAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

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