Reduced Auditory Processing Capacity during Vocalization in Children with Selective Mutism

Miri Arie, Yael Henkin, Dominique Lamy, Simona Tetin-Schneider, Alan Apter, Avi Sadeh, Yair Bar-Haim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Because abnormal Auditory Efferent Activity (AEA) is associated with auditory distortions during vocalization, we tested whether auditory processing is impaired during vocalization in children with Selective Mutism (SM). Methods: Participants were children with SM and abnormal AEA, children with SM and normal AEA, and normally speaking controls, who had to detect aurally presented target words embedded within word lists under two conditions: silence (single task), and while vocalizing (dual task). To ascertain specificity of auditory-vocal deficit, effects of concurrent vocalizing were also examined during a visual task. Results: Children with SM and abnormal AEA showed impaired auditory processing during vocalization relative to children with SM and normal AEA, and relative to control children. This impairment is specific to the auditory modality and does not reflect difficulties in dual task per se. Conclusions: The data extends previous findings suggesting that deficient auditory processing is involved in speech selectivity in SM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-421
Number of pages3
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2007


  • Auditory Processing
  • elective mutism
  • selective mutism
  • social anxiety
  • social phobia
  • vocalization


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