Poster Session C, Sunday, March 24, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Conflict Monitoring and Resolving Lexical-Prosodic Incongruence of Emotion Prosody Identification in Children with High-Functioning Autism
Feng-Ming Tsao1, Wei-Chin Hsu2, Huei-Mei Liu3; 1National Taiwan University, 2National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, 3National Taiwan Normal University
Children with high-functioning autism (HFA) suffer from emotional prosody production impairment, however, studies reported mixed results on emotional prosody perception. In lexical-prosodic incongruent words, e.g., “happy” with sad prosody, listeners monitor the lexical-prosodic conflicts, then utilize pitch information to recognize emotions. Additionally, listening experience with lexical tones might facilitate tone-language speaking HFA children to perceive pitch patterns of emotional prosody. This fMRI study aimed to explore brain correlates between monitoring conflicts and recognizing emotion prosody in HFA children. School-aged HFA children (n = 10, 8-12 years of age) and typically-developing (TD, n =11) children participated in this study. The fMRI tasks were blocks of emotional prosody and lexical tone. In emotional prosody task, stimuli were emotion words, varying with emotional prosody (sad, happy, and neutral). In lexical tone task, stimuli were [pa] from the Tone 2 (rising) to Tone 4 (falling) lexical tone continuum. In each fMRI trial, participants heard speech stimuli, then recognizing emotions or lexical tones accordingly. When prosody was incongruent with lexical meaning of words, results of fMRI analysis showed the deactivations of HFA children than TD children in Wernicke's area, Brora’s area, inferior parietal lobule, and precuneus. In contrast, the HFA children exhibited stronger activation than TD group in prefrontal cortex (BA10) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). The correlation analysis showed positive associations between activation level (BOLD signal change %, in ACC & BA10) and recognizing emotional prosody. The results implicated that HFA children combine monitoring lexical-prosodic conflicts and inferring other’s mind to recognize emotion prosody.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Development & aging