Voices can convey information about a speaker. When forming an abstract representation of a speaker, it is important to extract relevant features from acoustic signals that are invariant to the modulation of these signals. This study investigated the way in which individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) recognize and memorize vocal identity. The ASD group and control group performed similarly in a task when asked to choose the name of the newly-learned speaker based on his or her voice, and the ASD group outperformed the control group in a subsequent familiarity test when asked to discriminate the previously trained voices and untrained voices. These findings suggest that individuals with ASD recognized and memorized voices as well as the neurotypical individuals did, but they categorized voices in a different way: individuals with ASD categorized voices quantitatively based on the exact acoustic features, while neurotypical individuals categorized voices qualitatively based on the acoustic patterns correlated to the speakers' physical and mental properties.
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