Auditory-Visual Speech Processing (AVSP'99)

August 7-10, 1999
Santa Cruz, CA, USA

Infants' Perception of the Audible, Visible and Bimodal Attributes of Talking and Singing Faces

David J. Lewkowicz

NYS Institute for Basic Research, Staten Island, NY, USA

Human faces and accompanying voices are a ubiquitous part of the infant's perceptual experience. They serve as a major vehicle for the acquisition of linguistic, social, and emotional skills, just to name a few. Therefore, the study of how infants perceive the audible, visible and combined attributes of face/voice compounds can show how various features of face/voice compounds contribute to the acquisition of higher-level skills. I review the findings from a series of studies in which we investigated infants' response to a variety of features of face/voice compounds. These findings show that there are important developmental differences in the way infants respond to the audible, visible and bimodal components of face/voice compounds and that these differences are dependent on the specific nature of the information given. Overall, the results suggest that infants, like adults, may respond to multiple sources of information when attempting to evaluate the "message" carried by bimodal speech but that their functional use of this information is limited by the infant's developmental status.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lewkowicz, David J. (1999): "Infants' perception of the audible, visible and bimodal attributes of talking and singing faces", In AVSP-1999, paper #2.