Vanderbilt research shows what children with autism see and hear - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Vanderbilt research shows what children with autism see and hear is out of sync

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

For the first time, researchers at Vanderbilt University are giving an inside look at a new study about autism. They hope this unique program will eventually help improve communication and social skills in children with autism.

The researchers used video games to study why children with autism have a difficult time putting sight and sound together.

"It creates a very ambiguous perception of the world around them and has to be confusing for these children," said Vanderbilt University researcher Dr. Mark Wallace.

Wallace and his team asked children to complete several tasks that tested whether they could tell if the video and audio events happened at the same time.

For those with autism, the delay between sight and sound was almost double that of someone without autism.

Wallace explains that this can be very confusing for children with autism and makes it hard for them to communicate.

"Not only are you hearing me talk, but you are watching facial gestures and movement of hand," Wallace said.

Now, researchers want to see if they can use similar computer games to help children narrow the window of time when binding sight and sound.

"If we can train children to better synthesize information from different senses, we believe that the training will result in improved in skills of language and communication and social interactions," Wallace said.

Keep in mind, this is a very unique program, as Vanderbilt is one of just a few labs in the country pursuing the research.

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