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ERIC Number: EJ1166446
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Dec
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Word Processing in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials
Sandbank, Michael; Yoder, Paul; Key, Alexandra P.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v60 n12 p3441-3455 Dec 2017
Purpose: This investigation was conducted to determine whether young children with autism spectrum disorders exhibited a canonical neural response to word stimuli and whether putative event-related potential (ERP) measures of word processing were correlated with a concurrent measure of receptive language. Additional exploratory analyses were used to examine whether the magnitude of the association between ERP measures of word processing and receptive language varied as a function of the number of word stimuli the participants reportedly understood. Method: Auditory ERPs were recorded in response to spoken words and nonwords presented with equal probability in 34 children aged 2-5 years with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder who were in the early stages of language acquisition. Average amplitudes and amplitude differences between word and nonword stimuli within 200-500 ms were examined at left temporal (T3) and parietal (P3) electrode clusters. Receptive vocabulary size and the number of experimental stimuli understood were concurrently measured using the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories. Results: Across the entire participant group, word-nonword amplitude differences were diminished. The average word-nonword amplitude difference at T3 was related to receptive vocabulary only if 5 or more word stimuli were understood. Conclusions: If ERPs are to ever have clinical utility, their construct validity must be established by investigations that confirm their associations with predictably related constructs. These results contribute to accruing evidence, suggesting that a valid measure of auditory word processing can be derived from the left temporal response to words and nonwords. In addition, this measure can be useful even for participants who do not reportedly understand all of the words presented as experimental stimuli, though it will be important for researchers to track familiarity with word stimuli in future investigations.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 2200 Research Blvd #250, Rockville, MD 20850. Tel: 301-296-5700; Fax: 301-296-8580; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD); National Institutes of Health (DHHS); Office of Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01DC006893; U54HD083211; H325D100034A