Linguistics Seminar: Audio-visual facilitation of children’s speech processing
Audio-visual facilitation of children’s speech processing
Processing speech input can be a slow and effortful task for children, and this is exaggerated among children who suffer from hearing loss. This speech processing difficulty can adversely affect their academic achievement and psychosocial wellbeing. Presenting visual speech cues (e.g., the speaker’s facial movements) with the auditory signal may assist in alleviating such difficulties. In this talk I will outline results of two studies employing a phoneme monitoring task with concurrent pupillometryto examine the impact of audio-visual presentation on children’s speech processing. This methodology enables measurement of both processing speed, via reaction times, and processing effort, via pupil dilation. We find that presenting visual speech cues can improve speech processing speed and reduce effort for 7-11-year-old children with normal hearing in both quiet and noisy listening conditions. Furthermore, we provide preliminary evidence that children with hearing loss who use cochlear implants or hearing aids benefit from visual speech cues similarly to their normal-hearing peers, at least regarding processing speed. These findings have practical applications for facilitating children’s listening and learning, and highlight the importance of considering multimodality in psycholinguistic research.
Rogers Room N397
John Woolley A20