Categorizing the cries of infants with ASD versus typically developing infants: A study of adult accuracy and reaction time
Bornstein, M. H.
Date of Issue2016
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
The cries of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) contain atypical acoustic features. The cries of typically developing infants elicit automatic adult responses, but little is known about how the atypical cries of children with ASD affect the speed with which adults process them. Method. We used a reaction time (RT) categorical task to analyze adults’ categorization of typically developing cries, atypical (ASD) cries, mammalian animal cries, and environmental noise control sounds. 40 nonparent women (M age = 27 years) were instructed to categorize acoustic stimuli as human infant cries or non-human sounds as quickly as possible. Results. The RTs for correctly categorizing the cries of children with ASD (M = 831 ms, SEM = 27) were slower than RTs for typically developing child cries (M = 680 ms, SEM = 6) as well as mammalian animal cries (801 ms, SEM = 11) and environmental noise control sounds (M = 692 ms, SEM = 10). Conclusions. This difference may reflect difficulties in adults’ perceiving and processing atypical cries of children with ASD, and the findings may have implications for the parent-child relationship and for the quality of care children with ASD receive.
Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Elsevier. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2016.08.001].