Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Autistic Children Show Outstanding Musical Skills

Date:
May 27, 2004
Source:
Economic & Social Research Council
Summary:
Specialist individual music lessons could hugely benefit children with autism, according to researchers Dr Pamela Heaton and Dr Francesca Happe at the University of London.

Specialist individual music lessons could hugely benefit children with autism, according to researchers Dr Pamela Heaton and Dr Francesca Happe at the University of London.

The study, which was funded by ESRC, suggests that many children with this disorder have outstanding abilities in tone recognition. "A lot of work has been done on musical savants with exceptional musical memory and rarely found absolute pitch ability" says Dr Pamela Heaton who led the research. "But our research shows that even children without these special talents and no musical training can have highly developed musical 'splinter skills'. If we could develop effective non-verbal music teaching methods, we might be able to understand more about the way these children learn and process other information." A series of music workshops in which children with autism will be taught to read musical notation are currently being planned.

The research compared the skills of six to 19 year old individuals with autism, and a control group with matching age, IQ and level of musical background, on a series of tasks into tone memory and discrimination. Using a touch-screen laptop computer, they were asked to identify musical notes by moving the image of a boy up and down a flight of stairs.

Although the children with autism had the communication difficulties associated with this disorder, a sub-group of them produced exceptional results. In one of the tests four children from the autism group achieved a score of 89 per cent compared to an average score of 30 per cent. "These findings were surprising, especially given that two of these children had intellectual impairment and none had experienced musical training. Autistic children can be highly analytical listeners and are able to access musical details more readily than typically developing children," says Pamela Heaton, who worked as a musician before gaining a doctorate in psychology"


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Economic & Social Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Economic & Social Research Council. "Autistic Children Show Outstanding Musical Skills." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 May 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040526070452.htm>.
Economic & Social Research Council. (2004, May 27). Autistic Children Show Outstanding Musical Skills. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040526070452.htm
Economic & Social Research Council. "Autistic Children Show Outstanding Musical Skills." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040526070452.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins