An auditory-neuroscience perspective on the development of selective mutism

Yael Henkin, Yair Bar-Haim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Selective mutism (SM) is a relatively rare psychiatric disorder of childhood characterized by consistent inability to speak in specific social situations despite the ability to speak normally in others. SM typically involves severe impairments in social and academic functioning. Common complications include school failure, social difficulties in the peer group, and aggravated intra-familial relationships. Although SM has been described in the medical and psychological literatures for many years, the potential underlying neural basis of the disorder has only recently been explored. Here we explore the potential role of specific auditory neural mechanisms in the psychopathology of SM and discuss possible implications for treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-93
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Cognitive Neuroscience
StatePublished - Apr 2015


  • Auditory efferent function
  • Auditory processing
  • Medial olivocochlear bundle reflex (MOCB)
  • Middle-ear acoustic reflex (MEAR)
  • Selective mutism
  • Vocalization


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