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  Altered processing of communication signals in the subcortical auditory sensory pathway in autism

Schelinski, S., Tabas, A., & von Kriegstein, K. (2022). Altered processing of communication signals in the subcortical auditory sensory pathway in autism. Human Brain Mapping, 43(6), 1955-1972. doi:10.1002/hbm.25766.

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 Creators:
Schelinski, Stefanie1, 2, Author              
Tabas, Alejandro1, 2, Author              
von Kriegstein, Katharina1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Chair of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, TU Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Max Planck Research Group Neural Mechanisms of Human Communication, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634556              

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Free keywords: Auditory; Autism spectrum disorder; Inferior colliculus; Sensory; Speech-in-noise; Vocal sounds; Voice identity
 Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterised by social communication difficulties. These difficulties have been mainly explained by cognitive, motivational, and emotional alterations in ASD. The communication difficulties could, however, also be associated with altered sensory processing of communication signals. Here, we assessed the functional integrity of auditory sensory pathway nuclei in ASD in three independent functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments. We focused on two aspects of auditory communication that are impaired in ASD: voice identity perception, and recognising speech-in-noise. We found reduced processing in adults with ASD as compared to typically developed control groups (pairwise matched on sex, age, and full-scale IQ) in the central midbrain structure of the auditory pathway (inferior colliculus [IC]). The right IC responded less in the ASD as compared to the control group for voice identity, in contrast to speech recognition. The right IC also responded less in the ASD as compared to the control group when passively listening to vocal in contrast to non-vocal sounds. Within the control group, the left and right IC responded more when recognising speech-in-noise as compared to when recognising speech without additional noise. In the ASD group, this was only the case in the left, but not the right IC. The results show that communication signal processing in ASD is associated with reduced subcortical sensory functioning in the midbrain. The results highlight the importance of considering sensory processing alterations in explaining communication difficulties, which are at the core of ASD.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2022-01-172022-04-15
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1002/hbm.25766
Other: epub 2022
PMID: 35037743
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Project name : Horizon 2020
Grant ID : 647051
Funding program : -
Funding organization : European Research Council (ERC)
Project name : -
Grant ID : 429525912
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

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Title: Human Brain Mapping
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: New York : Wiley-Liss
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 43 (6) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1955 - 1972 Identifier: ISSN: 1065-9471
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925601686