Cross-modal extinction in a boy with severely autistic behaviour and high verbal intelligence

BONNEH, Y.S., BELMONTE, M.K., PEI, F., IVERSEN, P.E., KENET, T., AKSHOOMOFF, N., ADINI, Y., SIMON, H.J., MOORE, C.I., HOUDE, J.F. and MERZENICH, M.M., 2008. Cross-modal extinction in a boy with severely autistic behaviour and high verbal intelligence. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 25 (5), pp. 635-652. ISSN 0264-3294


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Anecdotal reports from individuals with autism suggest a loss of awareness to stimuli from one modality in the presence of stimuli from another. Here we document such a case in a detailed study of T.M., a 13-year-old boy with autism in whom significant autistic behaviors are combined with an uneven IQ profile of superior verbal and low performance abilities. Although T.M.'s speech is often unintelligible and his behavior is dominated by motor stereotypies and impulsivity, he can communicate by typing or pointing independently within a letter board. A series of experiments using simple and highly salient visual, auditory, and tactile stimuli demonstrated a hierarchy of cross-modal extinction, in which auditory information extinguished other modalities at various levels of processing. T.M. also showed deficits in shifting and sustaining attention. These results provide evidence for mono-channel perception in autism and suggest a general pattern of winner-takes-all processing in which a stronger stimulus-d riven representation dominates behavior, extinguishing weaker representations.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Cognitive Neuropsychology
Creators: Bonneh, Y.S., Belmonte, M.K., Pei, F., Iversen, P.E., Kenet, T., Akshoomoff, N., Adini, Y., Simon, H.J., Moore, C.I., Houde, J.F. and Merzenich, M.M.
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: Abingdon
Date: 2008
Volume: 25
Number: 5
ISSN: 0264-3294
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:57
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:15

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