Recognition of affective prosody in autism spectrum conditions: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Minyue Zhang, Suyun Xu, Yu Chen, Yi Lin, Hongwei Ding, Yang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


LAY ABSTRACT: Differences in understanding others' emotions and attitudes through features in speech (e.g. intonation) have been observed in individuals with autism spectrum conditions, which contribute greatly to their social communication challenges. However, some studies reported that individuals with autism spectrum condition performed comparably to typically developing individuals on affective prosody recognition. Here, we provide a comprehensive review with statistical analysis of 23 existing studies on this topic to examine potential factors that could explain the discrepancies. Compared with typically developing individuals, autism spectrum condition participants generally appeared to encounter more difficulties in affective prosody recognition. But this finding was likely due to the tendency of the existing research to overly focus on deficits in autism. The affective prosody recognition performance in individuals with autism spectrum condition was closely related to the number of answer options offered to them. Moreover, the degree of difficulty in affective prosody recognition encountered by individuals with autism spectrum condition varied across emotions. The findings of this systematic review highlighted the need for further research on affective prosody recognition in autism (e.g. studies that include tonal language speakers and autism spectrum condition individuals with lower cognitive or verbal abilities).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Early online dateMar 15 2021
StateE-pub ahead of print - Mar 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by grants from the major project of National Social Science Foundation of China (18ZDA293), who had no other role in the article.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • affective prosody
  • autism spectrum conditions
  • emotion recognition
  • meta-analysis

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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