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Neural dynamics of audiovisual speech integration under variable listening conditions: an individual participant analysis

Frontiers in Psychology
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00615
  • Psychology
  • Original Research Article


Speech perception engages both auditory and visual modalities. Limitations of traditional accuracy-only approaches in the investigation of audiovisual speech perception have motivated the use of new methodologies. In an audiovisual speech identification task, we utilized capacity (Townsend and Nozawa, 1995), a dynamic measure of efficiency, to quantify audiovisual integration. Capacity was used to compare RT distributions from audiovisual trials to RT distributions from auditory-only and visual-only trials across three listening conditions: clear auditory signal, S/N ratio of −12 dB, and S/N ratio of −18 dB. The purpose was to obtain EEG recordings in conjunction with capacity to investigate how a late ERP co-varies with integration efficiency. Results showed efficient audiovisual integration for low auditory S/N ratios, but inefficient audiovisual integration when the auditory signal was clear. The ERP analyses showed evidence for greater audiovisual amplitude compared to the unisensory signals for lower auditory S/N ratios (higher capacity/efficiency) compared to the high S/N ratio (low capacity/inefficient integration). The data are consistent with an interactive framework of integration, where auditory recognition is influenced by speech-reading as a function of signal clarity.

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