Sight and sound persistently out of synch: stable individual differences in audiovisual synchronisation revealed by implicit measures of lip-voice integration

Ipser, A., Agolli, V., Bajraktari, A., Al-Alawi, F., Djaafara, N. & Freeman, E. D. (2017). Sight and sound persistently out of synch: stable individual differences in audiovisual synchronisation revealed by implicit measures of lip-voice integration. Scientific Reports, 7, 46413.. doi: 10.1038/srep46413

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Abstract

Are sight and sound out of synch? Signs that they are have been dismissed for over two centuries as an artefact of attentional and response bias, to which traditional subjective methods are prone. To avoid such biases, we measured performance on objective tasks that depend implicitly on achieving good lip-synch. We measured the McGurk effect (in which incongruent lip-voice pairs evoke illusory phonemes), and also identification of degraded speech, while manipulating audiovisual asynchrony. Peak performance was found at an average auditory lag of ~100 ms, but this varied widely between individuals. Participants’ individual optimal asynchronies showed trait-like stability when the same task was re-tested one week later, but measures based on different tasks did not correlate. This discounts the possible influence of common biasing factors, suggesting instead that our different tasks probe different brain networks, each subject to their own intrinsic auditory and visual processing latencies. Our findings call for renewed interest in the biological causes and cognitive consequences of individual sensory asynchronies, leading potentially to fresh insights into the neural representation of sensory timing. A concrete implication is that speech comprehension might be enhanced, by first measuring each individual’s optimal asynchrony and then applying a compensatory auditory delay.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cognitive neuroscience, Human behaviour
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/17279

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