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Full Access Considering the development of developmental disorders of multisensory processes

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Considering the development of developmental disorders of multisensory processes

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By definition, developmental disorders of the brain and nervous system have their onset during early development. This early onset has important connotations for how we can characterize a disorder and its causal origins; the phenotypical outcome will be the result of an interaction between the initial atypical state of the individual and the subsequent ontogenetic developmental process. Despite patchy consideration given to the role of aberrant multisensory processes in developmental disorders, we are witnessing an increasing number of observations of multisensory impairments across a range of disorders, as exemplified by the other papers in this symposium. This paper discusses the current state of knowledge about aberrant multisensory processes across three developmental disorders: developmental coordination disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and dyslexia. Across these three disorders, distinct similarities in sensory responses are noted (e.g., hypo- and hyper-sensitivity to sensory information, sensorimotor impairments). This leads to a discussion of whether multisensory processing abnormalities could represent a particular vulnerability or, perhaps more importantly, a particular risk factor in atypical development. Within and across disorders, possible developmental trajectories that may have led to such impairments are examined. Finally, the need for further multisensory research in developmental disorders is highlighted and avenues for future research are explored.

Affiliations: 1: Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

By definition, developmental disorders of the brain and nervous system have their onset during early development. This early onset has important connotations for how we can characterize a disorder and its causal origins; the phenotypical outcome will be the result of an interaction between the initial atypical state of the individual and the subsequent ontogenetic developmental process. Despite patchy consideration given to the role of aberrant multisensory processes in developmental disorders, we are witnessing an increasing number of observations of multisensory impairments across a range of disorders, as exemplified by the other papers in this symposium. This paper discusses the current state of knowledge about aberrant multisensory processes across three developmental disorders: developmental coordination disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and dyslexia. Across these three disorders, distinct similarities in sensory responses are noted (e.g., hypo- and hyper-sensitivity to sensory information, sensorimotor impairments). This leads to a discussion of whether multisensory processing abnormalities could represent a particular vulnerability or, perhaps more importantly, a particular risk factor in atypical development. Within and across disorders, possible developmental trajectories that may have led to such impairments are examined. Finally, the need for further multisensory research in developmental disorders is highlighted and avenues for future research are explored.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22134808-000s0013
2013-05-16
2016-12-10

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