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An Acoustic Characterization of Prosodic Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorder and First-Degree Relatives

Authors
  • Patel, Shivani P.1
  • Nayar, Kritika1
  • Martin, Gary E.2
  • Franich, Kathryn3, 4
  • Crawford, Stephanie1
  • Diehl, Joshua J.5
  • Losh, Molly1
  • 1 Northwestern University,
  • 2 St. John’s University,
  • 3 University of Delaware,
  • 4 University of Chicago,
  • 5 LOGAN Community Resources, Inc, South Bend, IN USA
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Feb 13, 2020
Volume
50
Issue
8
Pages
3032–3045
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10803-020-04392-9
PMID: 32056118
PMCID: PMC7374471
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

This study examined prosody through characterization of acoustic properties of the speech of individuals with ASD and their parents, during narration. A subset of utterances were low-pass filtered and rated for differences in intonation, speech rate, and rhythm. Listener ratings were minimally related to acoustic measures, underscoring the complexity of atypical prosody in ASD. Acoustic analyses revealed greater utterance-final fundamental frequency excursion size and slower speech rate in the ASD group. Slower speech rate was also evident in the ASD parent group, particularly parents with the broad autism phenotype. Overlapping prosodic differences in ASD and ASD Parent groups suggest that prosodic differences may constitute an important phenotype contributing to ASD features and index genetic liability to ASD among first-degree relatives.

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