Pitch discrimination and melodic memory in children with autism spectrum disorders
“In fact, the children with ASD were better able to discriminate pitch within the context of a melody than to discriminate the pitch of two single tones, reflecting the advantage of context when discriminating pitch. These results support the EPF approach, which contends that contextual understanding in autism remains intact.”
Results: The children with autism spectrum disorders demonstrated elevated pitch discrimination ability in the singletone and melodic context as well as superior long-term memory for melody. Pitch memory correlated positively with scores on measures of nonverbal fluid reasoning ability.
Conclusion: Superior short- and long-term pitch memory was found among children with autism spectrum disorders.
The results indicate an aspect to cognitive functioning that may predict both enhanced nonverbal reasoning ability and atypical language development.