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Title: Production and perception of emotional prosody : the case of autism and Parkinson's disease
Author: Hsu, C. C. T.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8503 5658
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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The current study aims to investigate the acoustic correlates of the production and perception in emotional and attitudinal prosody of Taiwan Mandarin-speaking adolescents with autism (ASD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. It has been widely accepted among speech therapists that, although from very different aetiologies, individuals with ASD or PD speak with deviant prosodic patterns, monopitch, wrong stress, and greater difficulties in expressing emotions through prosody, while their perception of emotion and attitude is also jeopardised. However, when comparing their performance with their respective peers, results from previews studies have been far from consistent, ranging from significantly poorer to similar performance level. This disparity in findings may emerge from disease severity, task type, and research method. Therefore, in the present study, these issues were systematically controlled. Only individuals with mild to moderate ASD or PD were included in the experimental groups. Synthetic speech was used to generate auditory stimuli for the perceptual tasks, allowing precise manipulations of acoustic parameters. The use of designed sentences to elicit speech provided better comparison across speakers. The major innovation of this study is the use of bio-informational dimension (BID) theory as the theoretical framework. BID dimensions include body-size projection, dynamicity, audibility and association. Body-size projection associates high pitch with submissiveness, friendliness, politeness, vulnerability, and low pitch with dominance, confidence, protection, aggressiveness. This research paradigm has been proven to be effective in several studies examining the perception of emotional prosody. The hypotheses of the present study were made based on body-size projection. The main findings of this study include 1) adolescents with ASD and PD patients performed poorer than their controls in the perceptual judgement of emotional and attitudinal prosody; 2) only their expressive skills in emotional prosody was comparable to their controls; 3) their expressive skills in attitudinal prosody was worse than their controls.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available