Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 385–390 | Cite as

Brief Report: Cross-Modal Capture: Preliminary Evidence of Inefficient Filtering in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Brandon KeehnEmail author
  • Marissa Westerfield
  • Jeanne Townsend
Brief Report


This study investigates how task-irrelevant auditory information is processed in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Eighteen children with ASD and 19 age- and IQ-matched typically developing (TD) children were presented with semantically-congruent and incongruent picture-sound pairs, and in separate tasks were instructed to attend to only visual or both audio-visual sensory channels. Preliminary results showed that when required to attend to both modalities, both groups were equally slowed for semantically-incongruent compared to congruent pairs. However, when asked to attend to only visual information, children with ASD were disproportionally slowed by incongruent auditory information, suggesting that they may have more difficulty filtering task-irrelevant cross-modal information. Correlational analyses showed that this inefficient cross-modal attentional filtering was related to greater sociocommunicative impairment.


Autism Attention Cross-modal Filter Distractor inhibition 



This research was supported by R01-NS42639 (JT). Special thanks to the children and families who generously participated.

Author Contributions

All authors made substantial contributions to the conception and design of the study. BK acquired the data, performed the statistical analyses, and drafted the manuscript. JT helped interpret the data and revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors report no biomedical financial interests or potential conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed assent and consent were obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing SciencesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychological SciencesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  3. 3.Research on Autism and Development Lab, Department of NeurosciencesUniversity of California, San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

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