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Activities and Seminars

Inge-Marie Eigsti. Language in autism spectrum disorders: From low-level auditory discrimination and prosody to high-level gesture and embodiment
 
Date: Jun 05, 2012

What: Language in autism spectrum disorders: From low-level auditory discrimination and prosody to high-level gesture and embodiment

Where: BCBL auditorium


When: 12 noon

The autism spectrum disorders are a set of serious neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by impairments in two interrelated domains: social interactions, and language and communication. Our understanding of the origin of language deficits in ASD has long focused on social deficits; many researchers have attributed language delays primarily to the lack of social interest. Recent research from our lab, and others, has complicated this picture. We have demonstrated that language impairments in ASD seem at least partially driven by deficits in very low-level (core) cognitive processes, which may cascade upwards and lead to much more comprehensive deficits in both communicative and social processes. These low-level or core cognitive processes include 1) atypical strengths in auditory discrimination, 2) deficits in temporal coordination of motor movements, and 3) differences and similarities in implicit learning. We report on both deficient and intact processing in these domains. The identification of core cognitive deficits may provide clues to the core mechanisms underlying the symptom presentation in ASD.