Cross-Modal Integration Deficits in ASD
University of California, San Diego
Basic & Clinical
It has been well established that the integration of auditory and visual integration is impaired in individuals with autism, however, the more specific nature and neural basis of this impairment are not known. One explanation of these deficits lies in the inability to connect basic auditory and visual information. The integration of sensory information (sight of a mother's face and hearing her voice) is a prerequisite to the formation of meaningful percepts with which children understand their environment. It is possible that different factors (including how closely they are linked in time and where they are located in space), may disrupt integration of auditory and visual information in individuals with autism. Dr. Townsend will try to identify different factors which may impair the integration of visual and auditory signals in children with autism, and monitor the electrical activity of the brain during tasks where either one, or both of these stimuli are presented. Significance: These data will be used to more specifically ascertain the nature by which sensory integration is impaired, so that better intervention strategies can be developed for individuals with ASD that will improve integration of auditory and visual information.