Linguistic and Non-Linguistic Semantic Processing in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: An ERP Study

Emily L. Coderre, Mariya Chernenok, Barry Gordon, Kerry LeDoux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) experience difficulties with language, particularly higher-level functions like semantic integration. Yet some studies indicate that semantic processing of non-linguistic stimuli is not impaired, suggesting a language-specific deficit in semantic processing. Using a semantic priming task, we compared event-related potentials (ERPs) in response to lexico-semantic processing (written words) and visuo-semantic processing (pictures) in adults with ASD and adults with typical development (TD). The ASD group showed successful lexico-semantic and visuo-semantic processing, indicated by similar N400 effects between groups for word and picture stimuli. However, differences in N400 latency and topography in word conditions suggested different lexico-semantic processing mechanisms: an expectancy-based strategy for the TD group but a controlled post-lexical integration strategy for the ASD group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 12 2017

Fingerprint

Linguistics
Evoked Potentials
Semantics
Language
Word Processing
Autism Spectrum Disorder

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • ERP
  • Language
  • Pictures
  • Semantic processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

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