the brain to adapt to new circumstances and learn new skills. But most of his work is done with owls. The inspiration for the study in children came from a casual talk between Knudsen and Nathan Fox, PhD, director of the University of Maryland's Child Development Lab. In their conversation, they discussed a phenomenon called the McGurk effect, which is an illusion first reported in 1976. If a listener is presented with an audio recording of a single syllable while watching a synchronized video of a speaker's face mouthing a different syllable, in some cases a third syllable is heard, due to the brain's fusion of non-matching audio and visual information. It's an unnatural situation that a person wouldn't normally encounter, but it simply and powerfully reveals that speech perception is a product of both sound and sight.
"The McGurk effect is so amazing because it demonstrates clearly that speech is not just what you hear," said Knudsen. "If I thought I heard 'ba' but the lips look like they are mouthing 'ga' then it must have been 'da.'" Another classic example of the McGurk effect is that the sound "pa" combined with the lip movements for "ka" ends up being heard as "ta." It is impossible to hear the proper sound while viewing the speaker's lips, noted Knudsen.
Knudsen and Fox wondered if children born deaf would experience the McGurk effect after receiving cochlear implants. Funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and the American Hearing Research Foundation, their team looked at a total of 36 children, ranging in age from 5 to 14, born profoundly deaf and each having had a minimum of one year with a cochlear implant. At the time of the study, they could perceive spoken language and communicate verbally. All of the children could read lips, but until they received hearing input from their implants they could not make the connection between lip movement and sound.
The only kids who fully merged the visPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Mitzi Baker
Stanford University Medical Center
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