Impact of Multisensory Integration Deficits On Social Cognition in Childrens with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Curti R
  • Serret S
  • Askenasy F
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Abstract

Introduction Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is characterized by deficits in three functional domains: language and communication, social reciprocity, and the presence of restricted interests/repetitive behaviours. There are also deficits in social cognition. When having a face-to-face conversation, a listener not only hears what a speaker is saying, but also sees the articulatory gestures. Speech signals needs then a multisensory processing. Impairments in multisensory perceptual binding given that hallmark features of the disorder include difficulties in speech, communication, and social interactions. Objectives We suggest that atypical multisensory processing in ASD may have an impact on speech perception and social processing. Aims Therefore we could observe differences in a delayed free recall, between an unisensorial and multisensoral stimulus. Methods Our pilot study measures free recall scores in 3 lists of words presentation after 30 minutes. In the first condition (CI) words are only listened to, in the second (CII) associated with the picture of a man's face and in the third (CIII) associated with the man speaking in video. Participants were 7- to 13-year-olds typically developing children (TD) (N = 19) and ASD children (N = 19). Results Our findings show that words recall is higher in CIII for TD children whereas ASD children recall more CI words. Conclusions Findings shows that multimodal information brings improvement in long term recall for TD children. In ASD group a better recall is observed with unimodale information. We suggest that multisensory integration deficits in ASD can impact learning of socials information and then social cognition.

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Curti, R., Serret, S., & Askenasy, F. (2015). Impact of Multisensory Integration Deficits On Social Cognition in Childrens with Autism Spectrum Disorders. European Psychiatry, 30, 1211. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0924-9338(15)30952-4

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