Figurative language processing in autism spectrum disorders : A review

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2024
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Lampri, Stella
Peristeri, Eleni
Andreou, Maria
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Autism Research. Wiley. 2024, 17(4), pp. 674-689. ISSN 1939-3792. eISSN 1939-3806. Available under: doi: 10.1002/aur.3069
Zusammenfassung

Impairments in the broader domain of pragmatics are considered to be a defining feature of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). A challenging aspect of pragmatic competence is the ability to process nonliteral language. Interestingly, previous studies in figurative language comprehension in ASD have demonstrated conflicting results regarding participants' performance. The main scientific debate focuses on the underlying skills which facilitate processing of nonliteral speech in ASD. Namely, Theory of Mind (ToM), language abilities and Executive functions (EFs) are regarded as factors affecting autistic individuals' performance. This review addresses figurative language comprehension in ASD in light of the above three interpretive accounts. We reviewed data from recent studies in this field concluding that autistic children indeed encounter systematic difficulties in the processing of non-literal language. Moreover, only ToM and verbal skills were found to correlate the most with figurative language comprehension in ASD. Notably, we found that differences related to research methodology and tasks' properties may have led to discrepancies between studies' results. Finally, we argue that future studies should encompass in their experimental design figurative comprehension tasks with minimal linguistic demands and also measures of ToM, verbal ability and EFs in order to shed more light in the independent contribution of those skills to the processing of nonliteral language in ASD.

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ISO 690LAMPRI, Stella, Eleni PERISTERI, Theodoros MARINIS, Maria ANDREOU, 2024. Figurative language processing in autism spectrum disorders : A review. In: Autism Research. Wiley. 2024, 17(4), pp. 674-689. ISSN 1939-3792. eISSN 1939-3806. Available under: doi: 10.1002/aur.3069
BibTex
@article{Lampri2024-04Figur-68934,
  year={2024},
  doi={10.1002/aur.3069},
  title={Figurative language processing in autism spectrum disorders : A review},
  number={4},
  volume={17},
  issn={1939-3792},
  journal={Autism Research},
  pages={674--689},
  author={Lampri, Stella and Peristeri, Eleni and Marinis, Theodoros and Andreou, Maria}
}
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