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

24 Scopus citations


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)
Pages (from-to)798-813
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Early online dateMar 15 2021
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • affective prosody
  • autism spectrum conditions
  • emotion recognition
  • meta-analysis
  • Autistic Disorder
  • Humans
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology
  • Recognition, Psychology
  • Speech
  • Speech Perception
  • Emotions

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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