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Audiovisual speech recalibration in children*



In order to examine whether children adjust their phonetic speech categories, children of two age groups, five-year-olds and eight-year-olds, were exposed to a video of a face saying /aba/ or /ada/ accompanied by an auditory ambiguous speech sound halfway between /b/ and /d/. The effect of exposure to these audiovisual stimuli was measured on subsequently delivered auditory-only speech identification trials. Results were compared to a control condition in which the audiovisual exposure stimuli contained non-ambiguous and congruent sounds /aba/ or /ada/. The older children learned to categorize the initially ambiguous speech sound in accord with the previously seen lip-read information (i.e. recalibration), but this was not the case for the younger age group. Moreover, all children displayed a tendency to report the stimulus that they were exposed to during the exposure phase. Methodological improvements for adjusting such a response bias are discussed.


Corresponding author

[*]Address for correspondence: Jean Vroomen, Tilburg University, Dept of Psychology, Warandelaan 2, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands. Phone: +31-(0)13-4662394. Fax: +31-(0)13-4662067. Email:


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