What the song reveals about the flaws in voice imitation of people with autism

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A new paper comparing the ability to match the pitch and duration of speech and song provides valuable insight into the flaws in voice imitation in children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

The results show how individuals with ASD perform quite differently in two different categories. pitch ImitationA discovery that has broad implications when thinking about issues related to autism, such as difficulties in interacting with others and making social connections.

“This project shows that some of the conclusions we may want to draw about autism from other tasks may not be as broadly generalized as we think,” said Buffalo University of Arts and Sciences. Says Peter Pfoldlesser, a professor of psychology at the University of Tokyo. The co-author of this study was led by Fang Liu, an associate professor of psychology and clinical linguistic science at the University of Reading.

The research team discovered it Children with autism Adults were better at imitating and retaining relative pitch than having perfect pitch in both speech and music areas. There is an important difference between the two shown using the melody associated with the nursery rhyme “Mary had a little lamb”.

Absolute pitch is a specific note associated with each syllable in a song. Consider the seven notes that Mary produces when she sings “Mary had a little lamb.” Absolute pitch is the ability to sing each note correctly, which basically matches the note after listening to the song. This definition is different from what musical players call absolute. Absolute pitch, This refers to the ability to identify or sing notes without immediate reference.

Relative pitch, on the other hand, is the pitch change from one note to the next, or the interval that separates the pitch of the first syllable of “Mary” from the pitch of the second syllable of a word.

“Previous studies in areas such as behavioral imitation suggest that people with ASD can reproduce the ultimate goal of other behaviors, but not the exact form in which the behavior is performed. There is a stereotyped imitation, “says Liu.

As an example, Liu, when asked to imitate the movement of an autistic person reaching for a cup, does not try to imitate the exact trajectory of the arm as it passes through the reaching movement. Say you might get it.

“Our study of voice imitation suggests something similar. Autistic participants are more likely to imitate the structure of the song (relative pitch) than to the exact shape (absolute pitch). Was excellent. “

And this is important when thinking about music in a broad cultural sense.

Pfordresher, an expert in the relationship between music and language, states that there is plenty of evidence of the importance of collective interaction with music, especially its ability to promote social ties.

“People with autism have a hard time making social connections with people,” says Pfordresher. “Relative pitch is generally considered to be more important to music, but Absolute pitch It’s important when singing with someone, and singing all at once is important for making Social connection.. “

“Clinicians working with people with autism help people with ASD promote musical interactions that can deepen ties with others and promote their ability to form relationships. You may want to focus on imitating these forms. ”

Musicians have more connected brains than non-musicians

For more information:
Li Wang et al, Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, have impaired absolute pitch, not relative pitch and duration matching in speech and song imitation. Autism research (2021). DOI: 10.1002 / aur.2569

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Buffalo University

Quote: Https: // Individuals with autism obtained on August 10, 2021 (August 10, 2021) What the song reveals about the flaws in voice imitation

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What the song reveals about the flaws in voice imitation of people with autism

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