The electrophysiology of audiovisual processing in visual narratives in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder

Mirella Manfredi*, Neil Cohn, Beatriz Ribeiro, Pamella Sanchez Pinho, Elisabete Fernandes Rodrigues Pereira, Paulo Sergio Boggio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

We investigated the semantic processing of the multimodal audiovisual combination of visual narratives with auditory descriptive words and auditory sounds in individuals with ASD. To this aim, we recorded ERPs to critical auditory words and sounds associated with events in visual narrative that were either semantically congruent or incongruent with the climactic visual event. A similar N400 effect was found both in adolescents with ASD and neurotypical adolescents (ages 9-16) when accessing different types of auditory information (i.e. words and sounds) into a visual narrative. This result might suggest that verbal information processing in ASD adolescents could be facilitated by direct association with meaningful visual information.

In addition, we observed differences in scalp distribution of later brain responses between ASD and neurotypical adolescents. This finding might suggest ASD adolescents differ from neurotypical adolescents during the processing of the multimodal combination of visual narratives with auditory information at later stages of the process. In conclusion, the semantic processing of verbal information, typically impaired in individuals with ASD, can be facilitated when embedded into a meaningful visual information.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105730
Number of pages10
JournalBrain and Cognition
Volume151
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Multimodality
  • N400
  • Audiovisual
  • Visual narrative
  • EVENT-RELATED POTENTIALS
  • SEMANTIC INTEGRATION
  • BRAIN
  • COMPREHENSION
  • CHILDREN
  • ERP
  • GESTURES
  • LANGUAGE
  • SPEECH
  • WORDS

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