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Title: The development of social processing in young children : insights from somatosensory activations during observation and experience of touch in typically developing children and speech processing in children with autism spectrum disorders
Author: Galilee, Alena
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 800X
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis explores the neural mechanisms underlying the observation of touch and tactile processing in adults and typically developing children and speech versus computerized speech processing in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Chapter 1 reviews the literature on mirror functioning, embodied cognition and typical and atypical development of social and speech processing in infancy and childhood. Chapter 2 investigates the neural mechanisms underlying hand and object touch observation in adults. In Chapter 3, a similar procedure is employed to investigate tactile mirroring mechanisms in children. The findings demonstrate that these mechanisms are relatively developed in 4- to 5- year old children. Chapter 4 further explores somatosensory activity during touch in adults and children. The findings reveal the modulation of somatosensory beta (15-24 Hz) activity during touch in adults, but not in children. Chapter 5 examines the neural mechanisms underlying speech versus computerized speech perception in children with ASD. These results suggest an impaired classification of speech sounds preceded by computerized speech, and atypical lateralization of speech processing in children with ASD. Together, these findings make a notable contribution to our understanding of typical development of tactile mirroring and touch processing mechanisms, and social processing dysfunctions in children with ASD.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry