The effect of music on social attribution in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders

Anjali K. Bhatara, Eve Marie Quintin, Pamela Heaton, Eric Fombonne, Daniel J. Levitin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


High-functioning adolescents with ASD and matched controls were presented with animations that depicted varying levels of social interaction and were either accompanied by music or silent. Participants described the events of the animation, and we scored responses for intentionality, appropriateness, and length of description. Adolescents with ASD were less likely to make social attributions, especially for those animations with the most complex social interactions. When stimuli were accompanied by music, both groups were equally impaired in appropriateness and intentionality. We conclude that adolescents with ASD perceive and integrate musical soundtracks with visual displays equivalent to typically developing individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-396
Number of pages22
JournalChild Neuropsychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Asperger syndrome
  • Autism
  • Music
  • Pervasive developmental disorders
  • Social attribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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