Individual differences on an auditory-visual speech perception test for people with hearing loss
Individual differences in auditory-visual speech perception in people with hearing loss were investigated using syllables, words, and sentences. The stimuli were presented in auditory-only, visual-only, and auditory-visual conditions for both congruent and incongruent conditions. In the congruent condition auditory speech stimuli were presented with their identical visual cues, and in the incongruent condition auditory stimuli were presented with conflicting visual cues. Nine young adults with varying degrees of hearing loss, fitted with hearing-aids or cochlear implants participated in the study. The relative increase in auditory-visual speech perception as measured by these tests resulting from the addition of visual cues to the auditory signal was calculated for each condition. The results showed that the subjects were better able to integrate both auditory and visual cues in the auditory-visual congruent condition. The auditory-visual gain in speech perception was less for the incongruent condition. The subjects showed significant individual differences in the amount of gain for different experimental conditions. These results suggest that auditory-visual integration of speech information does occur but that the degree of integration varies among the subjects. The speech stimuli showing the most auditory-visual integration are discussed in the text.
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