Final C_Mallory MS Thesis 2021.2.5.pdf (657.38 kB)

The impact of auditory distractors on visual search performance in individuals with autism spectrum disorder

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thesis
posted on 04.08.2021, 15:33 by Courtney Lynn MalloryCourtney Lynn Mallory
Enrollment in post-secondary education for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is increasing; however, students with ASD are less likely to complete a degree than students with other disabilities. Classroom performance requires attending to course-related information while filtering distractions. These attentional functions are critical for academic achievement. However, ASD is associated with pervasive impairments in attentional filtering. The present study used visual search, a task in which individuals with ASD excel, to investigate filtering of irrelevant social and non-social auditory information in college students with and without ASD. Results of the present study suggest a filtering deficit for individuals with ASD and indicate that this filtering impairment is present for both social and non-social information. Importantly, these deficits are present on a task in which individuals with ASD excel. Our findings suggest that irrelevant social and non-social sounds may adversely affect performance in college-aged students with high-functioning ASD and highlight the importance of minimizing competing background noise for these students.

History

Degree Type

Master of Science

Department

Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Brandon Keehn

Additional Committee Member 2

Chenell Loudermill

Additional Committee Member 3

Alexander Francis