Audiovisual speech perception and word recognition

Massaro, D. W., & Jesse, A. (2007). Audiovisual speech perception and word recognition. In M. G. Gaskell (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of psycholinguistics (pp. 19-35). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
In most of our everyday conversations, we not only hear but also see each other talk. Our understanding of speech benefits from having the speaker's face present. This finding immediately necessitates the question of how the information from the different perceptual sources is used to reach the best overall decision. This need for processing of multiple sources of information also exists in auditory speech perception, however. Audiovisual speech simply shifts the focus from intramodal to intermodal sources but does not necessitate a qualitatively different form of processing. It is essential that a model of speech perception operationalizes the concept of processing multiple sources of information so that quantitative predictions can be made. This chapter gives an overview of the main research questions and findings unique to audiovisual speech perception and word recognition research as well as what general questions about speech perception and cognition the research in this field can answer. The main theoretical approaches to explain integration and audiovisual speech perception are introduced and critically discussed. The chapter also provides an overview of the role of visual speech as a language learning tool in multimodal training.
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