Everyone knows how annoying it is to watch a TV show and experience the picture and sound being out of sync. The lips are moving but it’s not synced with what is being said.
According to a new study some kids with autism may be experiencing out of sync vision and sound on a daily basis in the real world. The reason for this is that their minds cannot process what their eyes are seeing and their ears are hearing at the same time.
Children with autism had a longer window of time within which they combined sights and sounds, says lead study author Mark Wallace, director of Vanderbilt’s University’s Brain Institute. It took about twice as long for them to connect the dots, compared to typically developing children.
“If you drop a pen in front of me, the visual and auditory signals are happening at the same approximate time,” explains Wallace. But in children with autism, it takes about twice as long for both of these signals to connect. “There’s a longer window of time within which they are binding sights and sounds.”
Experts think this study is important because, if validated, it further supports the idea that the earlier in development children with autism receive therapy the better.