Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Sensory integration and language processing in autism  

Current theories in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) research suggest that difficulties integrating information across sensory modalities may be at the heart of the disorder. The ability to integrate information across sensory modalities is essential for successful social and communicative functioning in everyday life. Therefore impaired sensory integration abilities in autism could contribute to the core social and communicative impairments that typify the disorder. In this study, researchers will conduct a series of experiments designed to characterize audio-visual integration of gesture, speech, and non-speech sounds in high-functioning autism to test whether these abilities are related to current functioning and expression of symptom severity in autism. Participants will be 30 individuals with high functioning autism and 30 well-matched controls between the ages of 13 and 20. The time course of sensory integration will be measured using eye-tracking methodologies that record visual fixations during computer-based tasks involving gesture, speech, and musical notes. Additional measures of sensory integration abilities will include accuracy scores on video-based tasks, reaction time data, and note duration estimates on music perception tasks involving co-expressive performance gestures. Findings from this study will have direct implications for understanding the core deficits in autism and for designing the next generation of sensory integration therapies. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $152,394.00
Current Award Period 2010-2013
Project Number 1R03DC010891-01
Principal Investigator Silverman, Laura
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 1: When Should I Be Concerned? (Diagnosis)
Subcategory Symptomology
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 1LC. Identify and develop measures to assess at least three "continuous dimensions" (i.e., social reciprocity, communication disorders, and repetitive/restrictive behaviors) of ASD symptoms and severity that can be used by practitioners and/or families to assess response to intervention for people with ASD across the lifespan by 2016. IACC Recommended Budget: $18,500,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution University of Rochester
State/Country New York
Web Link 1 Sensory integration and language processing in autism (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Not available at this time. This functionality is experimental.