Auditory-Visual Perception of Speech with Reduced Optical Clarity Optical cues for visual and auditory-visual (A-V) perception of speech were varied by placing a sheet of rough-surfaced Plexiglas between talker and lipreader and systematically changing the distance between Plexiglas and talker. This distorts the optical environment in a way that is analogous to masking or filtering in the acoustic ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1979
Auditory-Visual Perception of Speech with Reduced Optical Clarity
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Norman P. Erber
    Central Institute for the Deaf, St. Louis, Missouri
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1979
Auditory-Visual Perception of Speech with Reduced Optical Clarity
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1979, Vol. 22, 212-223. doi:10.1044/jshr.2202.212
History: Received March 14, 1978 , Accepted May 19, 1978
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1979, Vol. 22, 212-223. doi:10.1044/jshr.2202.212
History: Received March 14, 1978; Accepted May 19, 1978

Optical cues for visual and auditory-visual (A-V) perception of speech were varied by placing a sheet of rough-surfaced Plexiglas between talker and lipreader and systematically changing the distance between Plexiglas and talker. This distorts the optical environment in a way that is analogous to masking or filtering in the acoustic domain. In studies with normal-hearing adults and with hearing-impaired children, speech (words, sentences) was presented live under different degrees of optical distortion, and observers attempted to identify the stimuli. Visual-alone (lipreading) scores dropped abruptly to the chance level as Plexiglas distance (blurring) was increased. A-V scores were relatively high for clear conditions but diminished gradually as Plexiglas distance (blurring) was increased. Under extremely poor optical conditions, A-V scores reached a plateau. This represents essentially auditory perception without meaningful optical cues for speech. Results parallel those of previous acoustic studies that compared auditory with A-V perception of speech as a function of S/N ratio or sensation level, demonstrating a reciprocal aspect of optical and acoustic cues for speech perception. Optical distortion seems to have potential as an auditory training technique to shift attention of hearing-impaired observers to non-dominant acoustic cues during A-V perception of speech.

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