Emotion perception in music in high-functioning adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Eve Marie Quintin, Anjali Bhatara, Hélène Poissant, Eric Fombonne, Daniel J. Levitin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) succeed at a range of musical tasks. The ability to recognize musical emotion as belonging to one of four categories (happy, sad, scared or peaceful) was assessed in high-functioning adolescents with ASD (N = 26) and adolescents with typical development (TD, N = 26) with comparable performance IQ, auditory working memory, and musical training and experience. When verbal IQ was controlled for, there was no significant effect of diagnostic group. Adolescents with ASD rated the intensity of the emotions similarly to adolescents with TD and reported greater confidence in their responses when they had correctly (vs. incorrectly) recognized the emotions. These findings are reviewed within the context of the amygdala theory of autism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1240-1255
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of autism and developmental disorders
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescence
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Emotion
  • Music

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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