Musical disability in children with autism spectrum disorder.

Psychiatry Res. 2018 Jun 19;267:354-359

Authors: Sota S, Hatada S, Honjyo K, Takatsuka T, Honer WG, Morinobu S, Sawada K

Although enhanced musical ability is reported in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), this observation may be uncommon, and reports of auditory processing deficits suggest musical ability may be impaired. We hypothesized that musical ability would be impaired in children with ASD, that the severity of impairment would correlate with cognitive dysfunction, and with clinical features of illness. We evaluated 26 children with ASD and 27 typically developing (TD) children using the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia short version (MBEA-s) as well as cognitive tests and clinical evaluations of ASD symptomatology. Mean scores on the MBEA-s were significantly lower in children with ASD. MBEA-s scores did not correlate with cognitive test results in either ASD or TD children, and did not correlate with symptom severity in ASD children. For the ASD children only, the combination of hyperactivity/inattention and working memory resulted in a significant contribution to the variance in the MBEA-s score. The findings indicate that musical ability appears to be impaired in children with ASD, and assessment of musical ability may complement cognitive tests and measures of symptomatology in characterizing the shared neural substrates for these dysfunctions in ASD.

PMID: 29957553 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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