Lexical effects on children’s speech processing: Individual differences reflected in the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ)

Mitsuhiko Ota, Mary E. Stewart, Alexandra Petrou, Catherine Dickie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To examine whether children exhibit the same relationship that adults show between the lexical influence on phoneme identification and individual variation on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ).

Method: Data from 62 4- to 7-year-olds with no diagnosis of autism were analyzed. The main task involved identification of the initial sound in pairs of voice-onset time continua with a real word on one end and a nonword on the other (e.g., gift-kift, giss-kiss). Participants were also given the children’s version of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ-child) and a second instrument related to autistic-like traits, the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS).

Results: The lexical shift was related to the AQ (particularly to its attention switching subscale), but not to the SRS.

Conclusions: The size of lexical effects on children’s speech perception can be predicted by AQ scores but not necessarily by other measures of autistic-like traits. The results indicate that speech perception in children manifests individual differences along some general dimension of cognitive style reflected in the AQ, possibly in relation to local/global information processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-433
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • Children
  • Speech perception
  • Autism Spectrum Quotient
  • Individual differences

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