Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Conversational Entrainment in Children and Adults with ASD

Class

Article

Graduation Year

2017

College

Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services

Department

Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education Department

Faculty Mentor

Stephanie Borrie

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Introduction: Conversational entrainment, a phenomenon in which people adjust their behaviors to more closely align with those of their communication partner, has been evidenced as vital for successful communicative interactions. Entrainment facilitates language comprehension, increases intimacy, and supports conversational fluidity. Therefore, deficits in entrainment may result in communication breakdowns—misunderstandings, poor interpersonal relationships, and significant frustrations for both dialogue partners.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder characterized by social, communicative, and behavioral challenges. These deficits often lead to misunderstandings, poor relationships, and frustrations for individuals with ASD and their dialogue partners. Thus, many of the symptoms of ASD are also the symptoms of entrainment deficits. Studies of entrainment deficits in verbal behaviors of children with ASD are scarce. We propose that speech entrainment deficits may be an important, yet currently undiagnosed, source of communication breakdown in children with ASD. The present study examined speech rate entrainment in populations with and without ASD.

Methods: Sixty participants including typically developing children, children with ASD, typically developed adults, and adults with ASD, participated in a quasi-conversational paradigm with a pseudo-confederate. The confederate’s speech rate was digitally manipulated to create slow and fast speech rate conditions.

Results: Typically developed adults entrained their speech rate to that of the pseudo-confederate, employing a faster rate in the fast speech rate conditions and a slower rate in the slow speech rate conditions. This entrainment pattern was not evident in adults with ASD, or the children populations.

Conclusion: Findings suggest that speech rate entrainment is a developmentally acquired skill and offers preliminary evidence of speech rate entrainment deficits in adults with ASD. Impairments in this area may contribute to the conversational breakdowns and social difficulties experienced by this population. Future work is needed to advance this area of enquiry.

Location

Room 204

Start Date

4-13-2017 10:30 AM

End Date

4-13-2017 11:45 AM

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Apr 13th, 10:30 AM Apr 13th, 11:45 AM

Conversational Entrainment in Children and Adults with ASD

Room 204

Introduction: Conversational entrainment, a phenomenon in which people adjust their behaviors to more closely align with those of their communication partner, has been evidenced as vital for successful communicative interactions. Entrainment facilitates language comprehension, increases intimacy, and supports conversational fluidity. Therefore, deficits in entrainment may result in communication breakdowns—misunderstandings, poor interpersonal relationships, and significant frustrations for both dialogue partners.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder characterized by social, communicative, and behavioral challenges. These deficits often lead to misunderstandings, poor relationships, and frustrations for individuals with ASD and their dialogue partners. Thus, many of the symptoms of ASD are also the symptoms of entrainment deficits. Studies of entrainment deficits in verbal behaviors of children with ASD are scarce. We propose that speech entrainment deficits may be an important, yet currently undiagnosed, source of communication breakdown in children with ASD. The present study examined speech rate entrainment in populations with and without ASD.

Methods: Sixty participants including typically developing children, children with ASD, typically developed adults, and adults with ASD, participated in a quasi-conversational paradigm with a pseudo-confederate. The confederate’s speech rate was digitally manipulated to create slow and fast speech rate conditions.

Results: Typically developed adults entrained their speech rate to that of the pseudo-confederate, employing a faster rate in the fast speech rate conditions and a slower rate in the slow speech rate conditions. This entrainment pattern was not evident in adults with ASD, or the children populations.

Conclusion: Findings suggest that speech rate entrainment is a developmentally acquired skill and offers preliminary evidence of speech rate entrainment deficits in adults with ASD. Impairments in this area may contribute to the conversational breakdowns and social difficulties experienced by this population. Future work is needed to advance this area of enquiry.