Attenuated impression of irony created by the mismatch of verbal and nonverbal cues in patients with autism spectrum disorder

  • Perception of irony has been observed to be impaired in adults with autism spectrum disorder. In typically developed adults, the mismatch of verbal and nonverbal emotional cues can be perceived as an expression of irony even in the absence of any further contextual information. In this study, we evaluate to what extent high functioning autists perceive this incongruence as expressing irony. Our results show that incongruent verbal and nonverbal signals create an impression of irony significantly less often in participants with high-functioning autism than in typically developed control subjects. The extent of overall autistic symptomatology as measured with the autism-spectrum questionnaire (AQ), however, does not correlate with the reduced tendency to attribute incongruent stimuli as expressing irony. Therefore, the attenuation in irony attribution might rather be related to specific subdomains of autistic traits, such as a reduced tendency to interpret communicative signals in terms of complex intentional mental states. The observed differences in irony attribution support the assumption that a less pronounced tendency to engage in higher order mentalization processes might underlie the impairment of pragmatic language understanding in high functioning autism.
Author:Simon Nuber, Heike Jacob, Benjamin Kreifelts, Anne Martinelli, Dirk Wildgruber
Parent Title (English):PLoS one
Place of publication:Lawrence, Kan.
Contributor(s):Sinan Guloksuz
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2018
Date of first Publication:2018/10/15
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/10/16
Tag:Autism; Autism spectrum disorder; Emotions; Face; Language; Questionnaires; Reaction time; Social communication
Issue:(10): e0205750
Page Number:13
First Page:1
Last Page:13
Copyright: © 2018 Nuber et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Psychologie
Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0