Another Piece of the Puzzle – New Autism Study Shows Hearing is Out of Sync With Vision
New research from Vanderbilt University on children with autism shows their hearing is out of sync with what they see.
The research indicates that autistic children cannot immediately connect sound with visual stimuli. The study examined the behavior of 32 high functioning children with autism. They were placed in front of a TV and asked to press a button when they heard the sound that matched what they were seeing. The children with autism took longer. This gap was substantial, sometimes up to half a second.
“Children with autism have trouble integrating simultaneous information from their eyes and their ears,” said study researcher Stephen Camarata, professor of hearing and speech sciences at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. “It is like they are watching a foreign movie that was badly dubbed.”
“When audio and visual signals happen during word learning, they don’t get linked properly,” said Camarata. “For example, when I point to a cup on my desk and say ‘cup’, the word gets bound to the image of the cup. But in children with autism, they might be looking at something else, and then the word cup comes and gets bound to the hat they are looking at.”