Absolute pitch, the ability to name or produce a musical tone without a reference, is a rare ability which is often related to early musical training and genetic components. However, it remains a matter of debate why absolute pitch is relatively common in autism spectrum disorders and why absolute pitch possessors exhibit higher autistic traits. By definition absolute pitch is an ability that does not require the relation of tones but is based on a lower-level perceptual entity than relative pitch (involving relations between tones, intervals, and melodies). This study investigated whether a detail-oriented cognitive style, a concept borrowed from the autism literature (weak central coherence theory), might provide a framework to explain this joint occurrence. Two local-to-global experiments in vision (hierarchically constructed letters) and audition (hierarchically constructed melodies) as well as a pitch adjustment test measuring absolute pitch proficiency were conducted in 31 absolute pitch and 33 relative pitch professional musicians. Analyses revealed inconsistent group differences among reaction time, total of correct trials and speed-accuracy-composite-scores of experimental conditions (local vs. global, and congruent vs...Continue Reading
Perception of relative pitch with different references: some absolute-pitch listeners can't tell musical interval names
Early childhood music education and predisposition to absolute pitch: teasing apart genes and environment
The autism-spectrum quotient (AQ): evidence from Asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism, males and females, scientists and mathematicians
Autism-related language, personality, and cognition in people with absolute pitch: results of a preliminary study
Absolute pitch: a model for understanding the influence of genes and development on neural and cognitive function
Locally oriented perception with intact global processing among adolescents with high-functioning autism: evidence from multiple paradigms
Why the frontal cortex in autism might be talking only to itself: local over-connectivity but long-distance disconnection
First came the trees, then the forest: developmental changes during childhood in the processing of visual local-global patterns according to the meaningfulness of the stimuli
Absolute pitch among students in an American music conservatory: association with tone language fluency
Opposite hemispheric asymmetries for pitch identification in absolute pitch and non-absolute pitch musicians
Autistic traits, resting-state connectivity, and absolute pitch in professional musicians: shared and distinct neural features
Enhanced auditory disembedding in an interleaved melody recognition test is associated with absolute pitch ability
Auditory local-global temporal processing: evidence for perceptual reorganization with musical expertise.
Autism spectrum disorder is associated with challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and often accompanied by sensory sensitivities and medical issues. Here is the latest research on autism.