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Beyond the usual cognitive suspects: The importance of speechreading and audiovisual temporal sensitivity in reading ability

Francisco, A. A., Groen, M. A., Jesse, A., & McQueen, J. M. (2017). Beyond the usual cognitive suspects: The importance of speechreading and audiovisual temporal sensitivity in reading ability. Learning and Individual Differences, 54, 60-72. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2017.01.003.
The aim of this study was to clarify whether audiovisual processing accounted for variance in reading and reading-related abilities, beyond the effect of a set of measures typically associated with individual differences in both reading and audiovisual processing. Testing adults with and without a diagnosis of dyslexia, we showed that—across all participants, and after accounting for variance in cognitive abilities—audiovisual temporal sensitivity contributed uniquely to variance in reading errors. This is consistent with previous studies demonstrating an audiovisual deficit in dyslexia. Additionally, we showed that speechreading (identification of speech based on visual cues from the talking face alone) was a unique contributor to variance in phonological awareness in dyslexic readers only: those who scored higher on speechreading, scored lower on phonological awareness. This suggests a greater reliance on visual speech as a compensatory mechanism when processing auditory speech is problematic. A secondary aim of this study was to better understand the nature of dyslexia. The finding that a sub-group of dyslexic readers scored low on phonological awareness and high on speechreading is consistent with a hybrid perspective of dyslexia: There are multiple possible pathways to reading impairment, which may translate into multiple profiles of dyslexia.
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The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.

 

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