Preschoolers Benefit From Visually Salient Speech Cues Purpose This study explored visual speech influence in preschoolers using 3 developmentally appropriate tasks that vary in perceptual difficulty and task demands. They also examined developmental differences in the ability to use visually salient speech cues and visual phonological knowledge. Method Twelve adults and 27 typically developing 3- ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2015
Preschoolers Benefit From Visually Salient Speech Cues
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kaylah Lalonde
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Rachael Frush Holt
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Kaylah Lalonde, who is now at the University of Washington: klalonde@uw.edu
  • Rachael Frush Holt is now at The Ohio State University, Columbus
    Rachael Frush Holt is now at The Ohio State University, Columbus×
  • Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray
    Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray×
  • Associate Editor: Karen Kirk
    Associate Editor: Karen Kirk×
Article Information
Development / Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2015
Preschoolers Benefit From Visually Salient Speech Cues
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2015, Vol. 58, 135-150. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-H-13-0343
History: Received December 28, 2013 , Revised June 20, 2014 , Accepted September 23, 2014
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2015, Vol. 58, 135-150. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-H-13-0343
History: Received December 28, 2013; Revised June 20, 2014; Accepted September 23, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose This study explored visual speech influence in preschoolers using 3 developmentally appropriate tasks that vary in perceptual difficulty and task demands. They also examined developmental differences in the ability to use visually salient speech cues and visual phonological knowledge.

Method Twelve adults and 27 typically developing 3- and 4-year-old children completed 3 audiovisual (AV) speech integration tasks: matching, discrimination, and recognition. The authors compared AV benefit for visually salient and less visually salient speech discrimination contrasts and assessed the visual saliency of consonant confusions in auditory-only and AV word recognition.

Results Four-year-olds and adults demonstrated visual influence on all measures. Three-year-olds demonstrated visual influence on speech discrimination and recognition measures. All groups demonstrated greater AV benefit for the visually salient discrimination contrasts. AV recognition benefit in 4-year-olds and adults depended on the visual saliency of speech sounds.

Conclusions Preschoolers can demonstrate AV speech integration. Their AV benefit results from efficient use of visually salient speech cues. Four-year-olds, but not 3-year-olds, used visual phonological knowledge to take advantage of visually salient speech cues, suggesting possible developmental differences in the mechanisms of AV benefit.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Predoctoral Training Grant T32 DC00012 (awarded to David B. Pisoni) and by the Ronald E. McNair Research Foundation. We are grateful for the expertise of Rowan Candy, who provided an age-appropriate measure of visual acuity. We are grateful to Courtney Myers, Laura Russo, Lindsay Smith, and Rebecca Trzupec for contributions to stimulus editing, recruitment, and data collection. Portions of this work were presented at the annual meeting of the American Auditory Society, Scottsdale, AZ (March 2013), and at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention, Chicago, IL (November 2013).
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