Auditory-Visual Speech Processing
In the rare genetic disorder of Williams syndrome (WS), visuospatial abilities, including face processing can be impaired. Auditory speech processing, on the other hand, may be less so. Claims have also been made that WS may impair integrative processing. In this context, the exploration of visual and audiovisual speech perception in WS is of interest. Tokens from a single natural English speaker of the form /?ba:/, /?va:/, /??a:/, /?da:/ and /?ga:/, were digitally manipulated and presented in unimodal (vision alone, audition alone) and audiovisual conditions, for participants to identify each token. Compared with age-matched controls, WS participants were impaired at visual but not auditory identification, and in audiovisual testing showed correspondingly reduced effects of vision on report of auditory token identity. Audiovisual integration was nevertheless demonstrable in WS. Visual phoneme identification may require visual skills that do not reach age-appropriate levels in WS, despite their age-appropriate (auditory) phonological abilities.
Bibliographic reference. Bohning, M. / Campbell, Ruth / Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2001): "Audiovisual speech perception in Williams Syndrome ", In AVSP-2001, 36-39.