Autistic traits and enhanced perceptual representation of pitch and time

Mary Elizabeth Stewart, Timothy D Griffiths, Manon Grube

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)
    185 Downloads (Pure)


    Enhanced basic perceptual discrimination has been reported for pitch in individuals with autism spectrum conditions. We test whether there is a correlational pattern of enhancement across the broader autism phenotype and whether this correlation occurs for the discrimination of pitch, time and loudness.Scores on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) correlated significantly with the pitch discrimination (r=-0.51, p<0.05) and the time-interval discrimination (r=-0.45, p<0.05) task that were based on a fixed reference. No correlation was found for intensity discrimination based on a fixed reference, nor for a variable reference based time-interval discrimination. The correlations suggest a relationship between autistic traits and the ability to form an enhanced, stable and highly accurate representation of auditory events in the pitch and time dimensions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1350–1358
    JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
    Early online date19 Jul 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


    • Autism-Spectrum Quotient
    • Sensory Processing
    • Audition
    • Pitch
    • Time
    • Loudness
    • Enhanced Representation


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