Auditory-Visual Speech Processing (AVSP'98)

December 4-6, 1998
Terrigal - Sydney, Australia

Impaired Speechreading Related To Arrested Development Of Face Processing

Beatrice de Gelder, Jean Vroomen, Bruno Laeng

University of Tilburg, (The Netherlands)

Childhood agnosia and prosopagnosia is are rare disorder of object and face recognition consisting in the loss of one of more aspects of normal visual processing for objects and faces as a consequence of a brain injury not present at birth. The paper reports on the case of patient, RP, a child prosopagnosic who sustained a closed head injury at age 7. Different aspects of speechreading ability are examined both with static and dynamic stimuli (recognition of spoken vowels and digits, serial recall). Moreover, two bimodal tasks were used in order to assess the combination of auditory speech with speechreading. The results show that RP is performing poorly on all of the visual tasks, while his auditory performance is entirely normal. This dissociation between auditory and visual speech skills replicates similar findings with adult prosopagnosics and underscores the importance of intact face processing for the development of normal speechreading.


Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Gelder, Beatrice de / Vroomen, Jean / Laeng, Bruno (1998): "Impaired speechreading related to arrested development of face processing", In AVSP-1998, 157-160.