Feature-based audiovisual speech integration of multiple streams
Speech perception often involves the integration of auditory and visual information. This is shown in the McGurk effect, in which a visual utterance, e.g., /ipi/, dubbed onto an acoustic utterance, e.g., /iki/, produces a combination percept, e.g., /ipki/. However, it is still unclear how phonetic features are integrated audiovisually. Here, we studied audiovisual speech perception by decomposing the auditory component of McGurk combinations into two streams. We show that auditory /i_i/, where the underscore indicates an intersyllabic silence, dubbed onto visual /ipi/ produce a strong illusion of hearing /ipi/. We also show that adding an acoustic release burst to /i_i/ creates a percept of /iki/. An auditory continuum was created with stepwise temporal alignments of the release burst and /i_i/. When dubbed onto /ipi/, this continuum was perceived mostly as a visually driven response /ipi/ when the burst overlapped with either acoustic vowel. Other temporal alignments frequently produced combination responses. Mostly /ikpi/ combinations were obtained when the burst was closer to the initial vowel, and reverse /ipki/ responses when it was closer to the final vowel. These results are indicative of feature-based audiovisual integration where burst and aspiration are sufficient cues for the consonant /k/, while the perception of /p/ depends on place information in the visual stream.
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