Morton Ann Gernsbacher’s research has for 20 years investigated the processes and mechanisms that underlie language processing. She empirically challenged the view that language processing involves language-specific mechanisms by proposing that, instead, it draws on general processes. During the past few years (motivated by personal passion) Gernsbacher’s quest has been to answer the fundamental question of why some individuals with autism cant speak. In this pursuit, Gernsbacher has already made a highly significant discovery: Some individuals with autism cant speak because of motor planning challenges. This discovery has begun a paradigmatic shift in revealing the basis of speech impairment in autism.
August 12, 2011