Students with autism spectrum disorders may have difficulty processing sights and sounds simultaneously, according toin the January issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.
Vanderbilt University researchers compared 32 typically developing students ages 6 to 18 with 32 high-functioning children with autism who had been matched by IQ and other background characteristics. As the students worked through a series of computer-based tasks, researchers tested their responses to simple and complex flashes, beeps, speech, and environmental actions, such as a hammer hitting a nail. They found students with autism had more trouble connecting sights and sounds that happened together.
“It is like they are watching a foreign movie that was badly dubbed; the auditory and visual signals do not match in their brains,” said co-author Stephen Camarata, a Vanderbilt professor of hearing and speech sciences, in a statement.
A version of this article appeared in the January 22, 2014 edition of Education Week as Autism