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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Audiovisual speech perception in Williams syndrome.

People with the genetic disorder of Williams syndrome ( WS) show an anomalous cognitive profile, wherein some purely verbal and social communicative abilities are relatively proficient, while visuo-spatial skills can be extremely impaired. Face processing, while apparently relatively spared among visuo-spatial skills, can show deficits suggesting developmental immaturity. In this context, the exploration of visual and audiovisual speech perception in WS is of interest. A new test based on tokens from a single natural English speaker of the form /(inverted v)ba:/, /(inverted v) va:/, /(inverted v)(theta)a:/, /(inverted v)da:/ and /(inverted v)ga:/, digitally manipulated and presented in unimodal (vision alone, audition alone) and audiovisual conditions, was presented 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. Speech-reading may require skills which do not reach age-appropriate levels in WS, despite their age-appropriate (auditory) phonological abilities.[1]


  1. Audiovisual speech perception in Williams syndrome. Böhning, M., Campbell, R., Karmiloff-Smith, A. Neuropsychologia. (2002) [Pubmed]
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