The Subjective Experience of Music in Autism Spectrum Disorder


Address for correspondence: Rory Allen, Goldsmiths, University of London, Department of Psychology, New Cross, London SE14 6NW, UK.


Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 high-functioning adults on the autism spectrum in order to examine the nature of their personal experiences of music. The analysis showed that most participants exploit music for a wide range of purposes in the cognitive, emotional and social domains, but the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) group's descriptions of mood states reflected a greater reliance on internally focused (arousal) rather than externally focused (emotive) language, when compared with studies of typically developing individuals.