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ERIC Number: EJ810139
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Visual Speech Contributes to Phonetic Learning in 6-Month-Old Infants
Teinonen, Tuomas; Aslin, Richard N.; Alku, Paavo; Csibra, Gergely
Cognition, v108 n3 p850-855 Sep 2008
Previous research has shown that infants match vowel sounds to facial displays of vowel articulation [Kuhl, P. K., & Meltzoff, A. N. (1982). The bimodal perception of speech in infancy. "Science, 218", 1138-1141; Patterson, M. L., & Werker, J. F. (1999). Matching phonetic information in lips and voice is robust in 4.5-month-old infants. "Infant Behaviour & Development, 22", 237-247], and integrate seen and heard speech sounds [Rosenblum, L. D., Schmuckler, M. A., & Johnson, J. A. (1997). The McGurk effect in infants. "Perception & Psychophysics, 59", 347-357; Burnham, D., & Dodd, B. (2004). Auditory-visual speech integration by prelinguistic infants: Perception of an emergent consonant in the McGurk effect. "Developmental Psychobiology, 45", 204-220]. However, the role of visual speech in language development remains unknown. Our aim was to determine whether seen articulations enhance phoneme discrimination, thereby playing a role in phonetic category learning. We exposed 6-month-old infants to speech sounds from a restricted range of a continuum between /ba/ and /da/, following a unimodal frequency distribution. Synchronously with these speech sounds, one group of infants (the two-category group) saw a visual articulation of a canonical /ba/ or /da/, with the two alternative visual articulations, /ba/ and /da/, being presented according to whether the auditory token was on the /ba/ or /da/ side of the midpoint of the continuum. Infants in a second (one-category) group were presented with the same unimodal distribution of speech sounds, but every token for any particular infant was always paired with the same syllable, either a visual /ba/ or a visual /da/. A stimulus-alternation preference procedure following the exposure revealed that infants in the former, and not in the latter, group discriminated the /ba/-/da/ contrast. These results not only show that visual information about speech articulation enhances phoneme discrimination, but also that it may contribute to the learning of phoneme boundaries in infancy. (Contains 1 table and 3 figures.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail: usjcs@elsevier.com; Web site: http://www.elsevier.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A