Audiovisual recalibration of vowel categories

Franken, M. K., Eisner, F., Schoffelen, J.-M., Acheson, D. J., Hagoort, P., & McQueen, J. M. (2017). Audiovisual recalibration of vowel categories. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2017 (pp. 655-658). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2017-122.
One of the most daunting tasks of a listener is to map a
continuous auditory stream onto known speech sound
categories and lexical items. A major issue with this mapping
problem is the variability in the acoustic realizations of sound
categories, both within and across speakers. Past research has
suggested listeners may use visual information (e.g., lipreading)
to calibrate these speech categories to the current
speaker. Previous studies have focused on audiovisual
recalibration of consonant categories. The present study
explores whether vowel categorization, which is known to show
less sharply defined category boundaries, also benefit from
visual cues.
Participants were exposed to videos of a speaker
pronouncing one out of two vowels, paired with audio that was
ambiguous between the two vowels. After exposure, it was
found that participants had recalibrated their vowel categories.
In addition, individual variability in audiovisual recalibration is
discussed. It is suggested that listeners’ category sharpness may
be related to the weight they assign to visual information in
audiovisual speech perception. Specifically, listeners with less
sharp categories assign more weight to visual information
during audiovisual speech recognition.
Publication type
Proceedings paper
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