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    Audio-visual speech perception in infants and toddlers with Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and Williams syndrome

    D'Souza, Dean and D'Souza, Hana and Johnson, Mark H. and Karmiloff-Smith, Annette (2016) Audio-visual speech perception in infants and toddlers with Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and Williams syndrome. Infant Behavior and Development 44 , pp. 249-262. ISSN 0163-6383.

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    Typically-developing (TD) infants can construct unified cross-modal percepts, such as a speaking face, by integrating auditory-visual (AV) information. This skill is a key building block upon which higher-level skills, such as word learning, are built. Because word learning is seriously delayed in most children with neurodevelopmental disorders, we assessed the hypothesis that this delay partly results from a deficit in integrating AV speech cues. AV speech integration has rarely been investigated in neurodevelopmental disorders, and never previously in infants. We probed for the McGurk effect, which occurs when the auditory component of one sound (/ba/) is paired with the visual component of another sound (/ga/), leading to the perception of an illusory third sound (/da/ or /tha/). We measured AV integration in 95 infants/toddlers with Down, fragile X, or Williams syndrome, whom we matched on Chronological and Mental Age to 25 TD infants. We also assessed a more basic AV perceptual ability: sensitivity to matching vs. mismatching AV speech stimuli. Infants with Williams syndrome failed to demonstrate a McGurk effect, indicating poor AV speech integration. Moreover, while the TD children discriminated between matching and mismatching AV stimuli, none of the other groups did, hinting at a basic deficit or delay in AV speech processing, which is likely to constrain subsequent language development.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2016 10:32
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:26


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