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<p>Past research indicates that music and speech share universal prosodic cues, which are encoded through domain-general emotion processing mechanisms. However, individuals with high levels of autism traits display emotion recognition impairments in speech and not in music.</p> <p>This could be due to the importance of domain-specific processing mechanisms and culturally specific information in emotion recognition of speech prosody. Indeed, native language emotion recognition involves the integration of phonological and lexical information with universal prosodic cues.</p> <p>On the other hand, in foreign language emotion recognition, the listener must rely less on culturally specific information and more on universal prosodic cues and domain-general emotion processing mechanisms. It is therefore hypothesized that individuals with higher and lower levels of autism traits will not differ in their ability to recognize emotions in foreign language speech stimuli.</p> <p>Foreign language emotion recognition accuracy was tested using Japanese speech stimuli created by Rachman et al., (2018) with DAVID, a software platform which allows for controlled and ecologically valid emotional transformations of speech signals. Musical ability was assessed using the beat perception and melodic memory measures from the GOLD-MSI (M├╝llensiefen et al., 2014) and autism traits were measured using the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (Baron-Cohen, 2001). Exposure to Japanese media was controlled for using a five-point categorical scale.</p> <p>As hypothesized, we did not find a significant difference in emotion recognition accuracybetween participants with lower levels of autism traits and participants with higher levels of autism traits. Furthermore, both beat perception and melodic memory performance were found to significantly and positively predict emotion recognition accuracy among participants with higher levels of autism traits, whereas exposure to Japanese media and beat perception were found to significantly and positively predict emotion recognition accuracy among participants with lower levels of autism traits.</p>
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