Have you ever thought that you could understand someone a little better if you could see their lips while they’re talking even if you couldn’t hear them clearly?
Research by a Univ of California psychology professor and his graduate students have proven just that.
Eurekalert.org is reporting on their study and their paper “Lip-Read Me Now, Hear Me Better Later: Crossmodal Transfer of Talker Familiarity Effects” along with a few of the scenarios they ran by their subjects.
In the study, students watched a silent videotape of a talker’s face, after an hour the students were broken up into two groups. One group heard the audio tape only that came from that video, the other group heard sentences from a different talker, in both cases the audio was difficult to discern due to a lot of background noise. Both groups were then asked to identify as many words as possible.
The undergraduates who lip-read and heard speech from the same talker were better at picking out coherent sentences from the noise. Which leads to this analysis:
These findings suggest that when we watch a person speak, we become familiar with characteristics of their speaking style which also are present in the sound of their speech. This allows talker familiarity to be transferred from lip reading to listening, thereby making a talker easier to hear. These results have implications for individuals with hearing impairments as well as for brain lesion patients, Rosenblum said.
Link to Eurekalert, the site has details to find the published paper or to obtain a copy.
Found via Omniglot