Acoustic analysis of intentional vocalizations by autistic and non-autistic monozygotic twins.
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This study focuses on early development communication to help determine autism at an earlier stage. Infant cries have frequently been studied and analysed as a reliable and interesting form of early communication (Corwin, Lester, and Golub, 1996).This study examine the cries of a young infant who is later diagnosed with autism. Her cries will be compared with those of her identical twin sister who does not later get diagnosed with autism. Trevarthen and Daniel (2005) have used home video tapes to analyse dynamic and timing elements the monozygotic twins, one of which later developed autism while the other developed normally. Their research found differences in the children’s movement and interactions. In particular, the twin developing autism exhibited a lack of purposeful movement suggesting a core deficit in prospective control. Further studies have concluded that there are differences in the vocal movements of children with autism. A novel acoustic analysis designed by the University of Edinburgh’s Perception in Action laboratory was used to examine the cries of the twins. The analysis is based on the General Tau Theory of movement which claims that all movements are perceptually and intrinsically guided by an internal Tau guide. Successful movement is based on the simultaneous closing of motion gaps. If unsuccessful their prospective control is weak. It is suggested that autistic sufferers may not possess this internal intrinsic guide and it may explain their motor difficulties. The Tau coupling percentages (%), pitch (T), amplitude (A) and timbre (K) of the twins’ cries was examined to determine any differences between the two. Many significant differences within these variables were found between the twins. This study sets the foundations for further, more in depth research in this area. The focus of the study was a small sample and very focused but it simply aims to highlight a possible route into further studying the area of autism at an early age in order to detect signs of autism earlier.
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