Dernière mise à jour : 07.02.2013
“Musical processing in Autism Spectrum disorder: global processing deficit or enhanced perceptual processing?” under the supervision of Sophie Donnadieu and Sylviane Valdois, defended the 30th of January 2012
This research aimed to explore musical processing in individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). This question has been tackled by exploring global and local processing in the light of the two main cognitive theories of autism: i) the Weak Central Coherence theory and ii) the Enhanced Perceptual Functioning theory. These two theories postulate a bias toward local processing in autism which originates either from i) a global processing deficit or ii) enhanced perceptual capacities. In the first part of this thesis, we aimed to test the predictions of those two theories in the domain of musical processing. To do so, we recruited 27 adults and children with ASD as well as controls matched on age and verbal IQ. Participants carried out three studies. The first study was designed to evaluate the capacity to discriminate musical elements requiring a high-level of processing (i.e., melodies and chords). Those elements were experimentally modified in order to involve either a global or a local processing. The second study implied to discriminate low-level auditory features (i.e., pitch, time and duration). Correlations between tasks involving high and low level of processing in autistic and control population was also investigated. In the third study, the capacity to extract a musical element in a more complex environment was assessed. Overall, our research highlights a greater implication of perceptual processes for ASD individuals in musical processing, giving support to the Enhanced Perceptual Processing theory. In the second part of the thesis, we aimed to develop a new set of auditory stimuli which better imitate the visual stimuli generally used to assess global and local processing (i.e., hierarchical stimuli). Twenty typical participants carried out both a visual and an auditory task. Similar findings were observed in both modalities (i.e., a global precedence effect) and positive correlations were observed between modalities. This new set of stimuli is consequently more adapted to evaluate global and local processing in audition. In the last party of this thesis, a case study of an ASD individual with a savant syndrome was presented. Qualitative data on his savant abilities acquisitions as well as quantitative data pointed to a central cognitive mechanism in this person, the mechanism of veridical mapping. This mechanism highlights the increased role of bottom-up perceptual information processing in autistic cognition, and the autonomy of perception towards higher-order cognitive processing. We concluded that the study of this mechanism in autistic cognition might be a promising way for future research.
Keywords : autism, musical processing, global and local processing, savant syndrome
Bouvet, L., Rousset, S., Valdois, S., Donnadieu, S. (2011). Global precedence effect in audition and vision: Evidence for similar cognitive styles across modalities. Acta Psychologica, 138 (2), 311-319.
Mottron, L., Bouvet, L., Bonnel, A., Samson, F., Burack, J., Dawson, M., Heaton, P. (2013). Veridical Mapping in the development of exceptional autistic abilities. Neuroscience and BioBehavioral Reviews, 37(2), 209–228
Bouvet, L., Mottron, L., Valdois, S., Donnadieu, S. (in revision). Enhanced auditory pattern detection in autism spectrum disorder.
Bouvet, L., Donnadieu, S., Valdois, S., Mottron, L. Role of perception in hypermnesia: case study of an autistic savant. Invited speaker, GDRNeuromem, Cargèse (France), March 2012.
Bouvet, L., Valdois, S., Donnadieu, S. Autism: musical cognition and auditory perception. Invited speaker, International Seminar sensory and handicap: music and cerebral plasticity, Paris (France), November 2011.
Bouvet, L., Valdois, S., Donnadieu, S. Musical and auditory processing in autism. Invited seminar, BRAMS, Montreal (Canada), August 2011.
Bouvet, L., Valdois, S., Mottron, L., Donnadieu, S. Absolute pitch and autism: a case study. Invited seminar, Laboratory of Cognitive Neurosciences of Pervasive Development Disorder. Montreal (Canada), October 2010.
Bouvet, L., & Donnadieu, S. Trees before forest: Evidence for an amodal local bias in autism. Proceedings on psychological exam and childcare, Chambéry (France), September 2010.
Bouvet, L, Donnadieu, S., Valdois, S., Mottron, L. Evidence for veridical perceptual mapping in savant syndrome: a case study. The International Meeting For Autism Research, Toronto (Canada), May 2012.
Bouvet, L., Donnadieu, S., Valdois, S. Atypical development of musical processing in autism. Neurosciences and music IV,. Edinburgh (Scotland), June 2011.
Bouvet, L., Donnadieu, S., Mottron, L., & Valdois, S. Stream segregation in autism: An auditory embedded figures task? The International Meeting For Autism Research, San Diego (USA), May 2011.
Bouvet, L., Valdois, S., & Donnadieu, S. Concepts of global and local processing in music. Proceedings of young researchers in audition, musical acoustics, and audio signal, Marseille (France), November 2009.
Bouvet, L., Donnadieu, S., & Rousset, S. Local bias in autism explained by auditory hypersensitivity: a case study of an individual with absolute pitch. Innovative research in Autism, Tours (France), April 2009.
May - June 2012 : Visiting scholar in the laboratory of Cognitive Neurosciences of Pervasive Development Disorder (Montreal, Canada) under the supervision of Pr. Laurent Mottron
October 2008 - January 2012: PhD in cognitive sciences in the Laboratory of Psychology and Neurocognition (Grenoble, France) “Musical processing in autism spectrum disorder: global processing deficit or enhanced perceptual functioning?” defended the 30th January 2012. Scientific directors: Sophie Donnadieu (PhD); Sylviane Valdois (Dr.)
September 2010 - January 2011 & May 2011 - August 2011: Visiting scholar in the laboratory of Cognitive Neurosciences of Pervasive Development Disorder (Montreal, Canada) under the supervision of Pr. Laurent Mottron
2007 - 2008: Research master’s degree in cognitive psychology, University of Grenoble (France)
2004 - 2006: Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, University of Grenoble (France)
2004: First year of bachelor’s degree in Musicology, University of Grenoble (France)