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15-11-2019 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2020

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 3/2020

The Perception of Emotions in Spoken Language in Undergraduates with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Preserved Social Skill

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 3/2020
Boaz M. Ben-David, Esther Ben-Itzchak, Gil Zukerman, Gili Yahav, Michal Icht
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10803-019-04297-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Identifying emotions in speech is based on the interaction of lexical content and prosody. This may be disrupted in individuals with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HF-ASD). Undergraduates with HF-ASD (n = 20) and matched typically developed peers (n = 20) were tested using the (Hebrew) Test for Rating of Emotions in Speech. Participants rated the degree to which a target-emotion is present in spoken sentences, in which the emotional-lexical and -prosodic content appear in different combinations from trial to trial. No group differences were found in measures of emotion-identification, selective-attention (focusing on one target-channel) and integration. These preserved abilities can partially explain the high levels of independence and self-control characterizing students with HF-ASD. Support programs may rely on such skills to improve social interactions.

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