Difficulty with Speech Perception in the Background of Noise in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders Is Not Related to Their Level of Intelligence

221

Abstract

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have more difficulty than typically developing peers understanding speech in noisy environments. Underlying this difficulty may be their decreased noise tolerance and/or difficulty integrating fragments of speech over temporal gaps, which usually present in noise. We investigated the role of these factors in children with ASD with a wide range of cognitive abilities. The sample consisted of 42 children with ASD and 38 typically developing children aged 7–12 years. The participants were asked to repeat two-syllable words presented in the background of noise. Two types of masking were used: stationary noise and amplitude-modulated noise. Intelligence was assessed using the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (KABC-II). The results show that children with ASD are worse at recognizing words in stationary noise than typically developing children. Even after adjusting for performance in stationary noise, the presence of gaps in the amplitude-modulated noise improved their performance to a lesser degree than in typically developing children (F(1,75)=18.57, p<0.001). Neither performance in stationary noise nor the ability to benefit from gaps in amplitude-modulated noise correlated with IQ in children with ASD (Spearman's coefficients, all p>0.80). We concluded that difficulties with speech perception in noise in children with ASD do not depend on the level of their cognitive abilities and are associated with two separate factors: low noise tolerance and poor temporal integration of phonemes into the auditory word form.

General Information

Keywords: autism, autism spectrum disorders, speech perception in noise, intelligence, phoneme perception, temporal integration of phonemes, cocktail party problem

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/cpse.2023120108

Funding. The research was conducted within the framework of the state assignment of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation from 13.02.2023 (N 073-00038-23-02).

Acknowledgements. The research was carried out using the unique scientific equipment of the Centre of Neurocognitive Research (MEG Centre) of MSUPE.

Received: 23.01.2023

Accepted:

For citation: Fadeev K.A., Goyaeva D.E., Obukhova T.S., Ovsyannikova T.M., Shvedovskiy E.F., Nikolaeva A.Yu., Davydova E.Y., Stroganova T.A., Orekhova E.V. Difficulty with Speech Perception in the Background of Noise in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders Is Not Related to Their Level of Intelligence [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2023. Vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 180–212. DOI: 10.17759/cpse.2023120108. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

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Information About the Authors

Kirill A. Fadeev, Research Associate, Centre of Neurocognitive Research (MEG Centre); Research Associate, Laboratory for Comprehensive Speech Research in Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disorders, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2480-5527, e-mail: fadeevk.fefu@gmail.com

Dzerassa E. Goyaeva, Research Associate, Centre of Neurocognitive Research (MEG Centre); Research Associate, Laboratory for Comprehensive Speech Research in Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disorders, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3018-7948, e-mail: dzerassa.goyaeva@gmail.com

Tatyana S. Obukhova, Research Associate, Centre of Neurocognitive Research (MEG Centre); Research Associate, Laboratory for Comprehensive Speech Research in Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disorders, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1364-2403, e-mail: tatyana.krik@gmail.com

Tatyana M. Ovsyannikova, Research Associate, Centre of Neurocognitive Research (MEG Centre); Research Associate, Laboratory for Comprehensive Speech Research in Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disorders, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6199-3649, e-mail: sp.psychology@gmail.com

Evgeniy F. Shvedovskiy, methodologist of the Federal Resource Center for Organization of Comprehensive Support to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, researcher of the Laboratory of Comprehensive Language Research in Children with Autism & Developmental Disorders, executive secretary of the Journal "Autism & Developmental Disorders", Moscow State University of Psychology & Education; junior researcher of the laboratory of clinical psychology, Mental Health Research Center; Neuropsychologist, Center of Health & Development of St.Luke; neuropsychologist, ABA-Center "My Planet", Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2834-7589, e-mail: shvedovskijef@mgppu.ru

Anastasiya Y. Nikolaeva, Research Associate, Centre of Neurocognitive Research (MEG Centre), Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7323-8528, e-mail: nikolaevaayu@mgppu.ru

Elizaveta Y. Davydova, PhD in Biology, Associate Professor, Leading Researcher, Federal Resource Center for Organization of Comprehensive Support to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Associate Professor of the Department of Differential Psychology and Psychophysiology Faculty of “Clinical and Special Psychology”, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5192-5535, e-mail: el-davydova@mail.ru

Tatyana A. Stroganova, Doctor of Biology, Senior Researcher, Centre of Neurocognitive Research (MEG Centre), Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3750-9890, e-mail: stroganova56@mail.ru

Elena V. Orekhova, PhD in Psychology, Senior Researcher, Centre of Neurocognitive Research (MEG Centre), Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0950-1613, e-mail: orekhova.elena.v@gmail.com

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