Emotion perception deficits are commonly observed in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Numerous studies have documented deficits in emotional recognition of social stimuli among those with ASD, such as faces and voices, while far fewer have investigated emotional recognition of nonsocial stimuli in this population. In this study, participants with ASD and a comparison group of typically developing (TD) control participants listened to song clips that varied in levels of pleasantness (valence) and arousal. Participants then rated emotions they felt or perceived in the music, using a list of eight emotion words for each song. Results showed that individuals with ASD gave significantly lower ratings of negative emotions in both the felt and perceived categories compared to TD controls, but did not show significant differences in ratings of positive emotions. These findings suggest that deficits in processing emotions in music among those with ASD may be valence specific.
- Received April 10, 2013.
- Accepted October 9, 2013.
- © 2014 by The Regents of the University of California