Is voice processing impacted in Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Cortical voice processing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Recommendation: posted 20 November 2023, validated 20 November 2023
Edwards, G. and Schwarzkopf, D. (2023) Is voice processing impacted in Autism Spectrum Disorder?. Peer Community in Registered Reports, . https://rr.peercommunityin.org/PCIRegisteredReports/articles/rec?id=438
Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that will be used to answer the research question yet exists and no part will be generated until after IPA.
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
- Advances in Cognitive Psychology
- Brain and Neuroscience Advances
- Imaging Neuroscience
- NeuroImage: Reports
- Peer Community Journal
- Royal Society Open Science
- Studia Psychologica
1. Gautier, R., Houy-Durand, E., Barantin, L., Briend, F. & Latinus, M. (2023). Cortical voice processing in Autism Spectrum Disorder. In principle acceptance of Version 4 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/538m4
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article.
Evaluation round #3
DOI or URL of the report: https://osf.io/rg872?view_only=f28f60cb55574d54a04571a189eca5f7
Version of the report: 1
Author's Reply, 17 Nov 2023
Decision by Grace Edwards and D. Samuel Schwarzkopf, posted 15 Nov 2023, validated 15 Nov 2023
Dear Dr. Gautier,
Thank you for your detailed response to the reviewers. Both reviewers are now satisfied with the content of your Stage 1 manuscript.
Before we move to an in-principle acceptance, we have a few of remaining comments we would like you to address:
You consider the inconsistent results in prior literature to be due to the discrepancies in higher functioning levels of the two ASD samples (e.g. IQ). In the introduction, the discrepancy between the ASD groups of each study is one of the main motivations for further examination into the vocal-sound processing in ASD. It is still not totally clear how you will control for higher functioning level in your ASD sample. It is plausible that with a larger sample of ASD participants, you will cover a broader variance in higher-level functioning, culminating in a result which is more applicable to the ASD population as a whole. If this is the case, you would need to consider your sample size to account for the wide range of IQs in the population. However, it is also plausible that without controlling for higher level function (in this case, IQ), you may recruit closer to one end or the other which could significantly impact interpretation of the result, falling into the same trap as the prior literature. If you indeed plan to control for variables such as IQ to overcome discrepancies in the prior literature, a more substantial reconsideration of planned analyses would be necessary.
You have included a memory task to determine if there is a difference in attention to the stimuli between the two groups. This addition seems important, but you should add a hypothesis and run a power analysis to ensure you have the power for your planned one-way ANOVA. On that note, it seems like a t-test would be more appropriate for this analysis as there are only two groups. Could you either clarify why an ANOVA is the correct route or change the manuscript accordingly. Furthermore, more information is necessary with regard to the task: how many sounds will be tested? Will the participants be told of the memory task prior to the fMRI data collection? If so, how might the knowledge of a memory task influence the processing of the stimuli during the scan? We believe it would be better to inform your participants of the memory task prior to the scan, as a post-scan behavior difference could explain any functional differences. However, informing the participants prior to the scan changes the interpretation of a potential functional difference between groups. The interpretation cannot be of an automatic processing of early voice processing, but a task-relevant processing of early voice processing.
In the Design Table you should add/clarify some information. For example, you should state the power level you used (it's in the text but should be there as well). Also, under Rationale for deciding sensitivity you only write p<0.02 - you should support the p-value with a rationale by moving the information about previous effect size from Sampling plan into here. You already explain in the text why this is the effect size you use, so you would not need to add any extra this information.
It is important that you also remove their references to exploratory analyses in the study table. The mention of the individual differences exploratory analysis in the introduction is an exception. For readability, you need to explain the collection of data that will only support exploratory analyses (i.e. the individual evaluations) in the introduction. Other exploratory analyses are acceptable at Stage 2, but then they are clearly labelled and will be scrutinised accordingly. With your current design (which does not include an equivalence test), if your chi-square test finds no significant difference, the main message of your Stage 2 would be that the null hypothesis cannot be rejected.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Grace & Sam
Reviewed by anonymous reviewer 1, 20 Sep 2023
Reviewed by anonymous reviewer 2, 14 Nov 2023
Evaluation round #2
DOI or URL of the report: https://osf.io/egam2?view_only=978ca2543e7b434f9beea92a52f202b5
Version of the report: 1
Author's Reply, 18 Sep 2023
Decision by Grace Edwards and D. Samuel Schwarzkopf, posted 23 Aug 2023, validated 23 Aug 2023
Dear Dr. Gautier,
We have been fortunate to receive insightful comments from two expert reviewers. We agree with the reviewers that you have outlined a clear rationale for your proposed research question, which is supported by a strong design. There remain some areas where the reviewers have requested clarification, to highlight a few:
Reviewer 1 has highlighted a potential difference in groups in relation to attentiveness to the stimuli, which in turn may explain activation differences – could the authors comment on how they might account for potential attentiveness differences? Reviewer 1 also indicated that Bayesian hypothesis testing or frequentist equivalence testing may be appropriate if there is no difference between your two groups in the proportion of individuals showing STS/STG activation in response to non-vocal sounds. Given that the two prior studies examining TVAs in ASD found atypical (Gervais et al., 2004) and typical (Schelinski et al., 2016) activation, you might consider registering an equivalence test as a contingency if your hypothesis is not upheld. In which case, you would need to also run a power analysis for an equivalence test. Bayesian hypothesis testing is another route, but it would be ideal to not mix hypothesis testing frameworks. This route would require the authors to change to the Bayesian framework for all analyses. It is also plausible to explore a lack of difference in Stage 2, however powering your study for this potential outcome in Stage 1 is advised.
Reviewer 2 expressed interest in the clinical profile of the typically developing group. As the hypothesis hinges on there being a difference in the clinical profile of the two groups, please comment on how you might screen individuals included in the typically developing group. Reviewer 2 also commented on the potential exploratory analysis involving the clinical profiles of the individuals with ASD and the presence or absence of TVA response. They suggest also examining individual differences of the those in the TD group. We request the exploratory analysis be removed from the abstract in line with registered reports formatting, however, it may be noted in brief towards the end of the introduction.
With regard to registered reports formatting, we have a further few items for the authors to address:
1. Version control
After each revision, it is ideal if you replace the old pdf with a new clean (no track changes) pdf on OSF to enable PCI-RR to record the version number. The tracked changes document should be uploaded to PCI-RR separately in the same page where you submit your reply to the reviewers and recommenders.
2. Study design table
In the final column of the Study design table, we encourage you to think about the theoretical implications of either finding or not finding a difference in TVA activation between groups.
Typo on page 3: “founding resources”
We believe your manuscript has potential for Stage 1 in-principle acceptance, therefore we request revision and resubmission. Please address each of the reviewers’ and the recommenders comments and revise your manuscript accordingly.
Grace & Sam
Reviewed by anonymous reviewer 2, 10 Aug 2023
Reviewed by anonymous reviewer 1, 21 Aug 2023
Evaluation round #1
DOI or URL of the report: https://osf.io/d7rh8?view_only=f28f60cb55574d54a04571a189eca5f7
Version of the report: 1