Scientific article
Open access

Aberrant Development of Speech Processing in Young Children with Autism: New Insights from Neuroimaging Biomarkers

Published inFrontiers in neuroscience, vol. 10, no. Advanced neuroimaging methods for studying autism disorder
Publication date2016

From the time of birth, a newborn is continuously exposed and naturally attracted to human voices, and as he grows, he becomes increasingly responsive to these speech stimuli, which are strong drivers for his language development and knowledge acquisition about the world. In contrast, young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are often insensitive to human voices, failing to orient and respond to them. Failure to attend to speech in turn results in altered development of language and social-communication skills. Here, we review the critical role of orienting to speech in ASD, as well as the neural substrates of human voice processing. Recent functional neuroimaging and electroencephalography studies demonstrate that aberrant voice processing could be a promising marker to identify ASD very early on. With the advent of refined brain imaging methods, coupled with the possibility of screening infants and toddlers, predictive brain function biomarkers are actively being examined and are starting to emerge. Their timely identification might not only help to differentiate between phenotypes, but also guide the clinicians in setting up appropriate therapies, and better predicting or quantifying long-term outcome.

  • ASD
  • EEG
  • MRI
  • auditory processing
  • infant
  • language development
  • toddler
  • voice
Citation (ISO format)
SPERDIN, Holger Franz, SCHAER, Marie. Aberrant Development of Speech Processing in Young Children with Autism: New Insights from Neuroimaging Biomarkers. In: Frontiers in neuroscience, 2016, vol. 10. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2016.00393
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1662-453X

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