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'Read my lips' - it's easier when they're your own

Date:
November 8, 2012
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
People can lip-read themselves better than they can lip-read others, according to a new study. The work explores the link between speech perception and speech production.

People can lip-read themselves better than they can lip-read others, according to a new study by Nancy Tye-Murray and colleagues from Washington University. Their work, which explores the link between speech perception and speech production, is published online in Springer's Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

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Most people cannot read lips -- just try watching television with the sound turned off and see how much of a news item you understand. If you see someone speak a sentence without the accompanying sounds, you are unlikely to recognize many words.

Tye-Murray and her team developed simple, nonsensical sentences from word boards e.g. The duck watched the boy and The snail watched the goose, so that participants would easily identify and recognize individual words. Twenty adults recorded the sentences and, after several weeks, lip-read silent video clips with sentences spoken both by themselves and by nine other participants.

Participants were able to lip-read video clips of themselves consistently more accurately than video clips of others. These findings suggest that seeing someone speak activates speech processes that link 'seen' words to 'actual' words in the mental lexicon, and the activation is particularly strong when you see yourself speak.

The authors conclude: "This study is one of the first to show that not only can people recognize their own actions from those of others, but they can better interpret their own actions. A strong link may exist between how we perform actions and how we perceive actions; that is, we may activate some of the very same mental representations when performing and when perceiving. These findings have important implications for understanding how we learn new actions and, particularly, for how we learn to recognize and produce speech."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nancy Tye-Murray, Brent P. Spehar, Joel Myerson, Sandra Hale, Mitchell S. Sommers. Reading your own lips: Common-coding theory and visual speech perception. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2012; DOI: 10.3758/s13423-012-0328-5

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "'Read my lips' - it's easier when they're your own." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108104313.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2012, November 8). 'Read my lips' - it's easier when they're your own. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108104313.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "'Read my lips' - it's easier when they're your own." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108104313.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

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