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Temporal Coordination and Prosodic Structure in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Timing Across Speech and Non-speech Motor Domains

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Abstract

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often exhibit disordered speech prosody, but sources of disordered prosody remain poorly understood. We explored patterns of temporal alignment and prosodic grouping in a speech-based metronome repetition task as well as manual coordination in a drum tapping task among Cantonese speakers with ASD and normal nonverbal IQ and matched controls. Results indicate similar group results for prosodic grouping patterns, but significant differences in relative timing and longer syllable durations at phrase ends for the ASD group. Variability on the speech task was significantly correlated with variability on the drumming task, consistent with the view that impairment in both speech and non-speech motor domains can be linked with deficits in temporal processing.

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Adapted from Byrd and Saltzman (2003): effects of later timing (c), greater strength (d), and positive skew shaping (e) modulations on π-gesture activation patterns across two consecutive articulatory constriction gestures in comparison with unmodulated gestures (a) and a centered, unskewed π-gesture with relatively weak strength (b). The duration of later gestures is increased relative to earlier gestures in (c) and (e)

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the individuals who participated in this research.

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KF contributed to conceptualization of the study, data analysis and interpretation, and manuscript preparation. HYW contributed to data collection and processing and manuscript preparation. ACLY contributed to conceptualization of the study and manuscript preparation. CKST oversaw data collection and contributed to conceptualization of the study and manuscript preparation.

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Correspondence to Kathryn Franich.

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Appendix

Appendix

See Table 3.

Table 3 Full list of experimental stimuli

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Franich, K., Wong, H.Y., Yu, A.C.L. et al. Temporal Coordination and Prosodic Structure in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Timing Across Speech and Non-speech Motor Domains. J Autism Dev Disord 51, 2929–2949 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04758-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04758-z

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