Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Neuroscience; Communication Sciences & Disorders

Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Emily Coderre


ASD, Autism, EEG, Coherence, Semantics, Neuroscience


Language deficits are a pertinent and characteristic feature of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), particularly in higher-level functions like semantic processing. Compared to the typically developing (TD) population, people with ASD have shown significant differences in neural semantic processing activity after the presentation of a stimulus. However, lower-level functions like word decoding are typically intact, suggesting a disconnect between these two processing levels in the brain. Theta coherence has been linked to the presence of such lower-level, pre-semantic activity in the TD population. The present study used electroencephalography (EEG) to measure the presence of theta coherence and examine the pre-semantic neural connectivity of participants with ASD to determine whether early disruptions might contribute to semantic misunderstandings. Gaining a better understanding of neural communication during pre-semantic processing would further the current understanding of language impairments in ASD and could also lead to more targeted and effective therapies.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.