The relationship between auditory-visual speech perception and language-specific speech perception at the onset of reading instruction in English-speaking children

Erdener D., Burnham D.

JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL CHILD PSYCHOLOGY, vol.116, no.2, pp.120-138, 2013 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 116 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jecp.2013.03.003
  • Page Numbers: pp.120-138
  • Keywords: Auditory-visual speech perception, Visual speech, Children, Speech development, McGurk effect, Language-specific speech perception, DEVELOPMENTAL-CHANGES, HEARING, INFANTS, INTEGRATION, CHILDHOOD, DEAF


Speech perception is auditory visual, but relatively little is known about auditory visual compared with auditory-only speech perception. One avenue for further understanding is via developmental studies. In a recent study, Sekiyama and Burnham (2008) found that English speakers significantly increase their use of visual speech information between 6 and 8 years of age but that this development does not appear to be universal across languages. Here, the possible bases for this language-specific increase among English speakers were investigated. Four groups of English-language children (5, 6, 7, and 8 years) and a group of adults were tested on auditory visual, auditory-only, and visual-only speech perception; language-specific speech perception with native and non-native speech sounds; articulation; and reading. Results showed that language-specific speech perception and lip-reading ability reliably predicted auditory visual speech perception in children but that adult auditory visual speech perception was predicted by auditory-only speech perception. The implications are discussed in terms of both auditory visual speech perception and language development. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.