Sunday, November 24, 2013

Seeing Is Believing, 3 of 5

New studies by researchers at the University of Utah have added to the body of knowledge related to the McGurk effect, suggesting a mechanistic underpinning for the McGurk effect (a perceptual phenomenon related to hearing and seeing in decoding speech).  In the brain, information from the visual cortex may be instructing the auditory cortex which sound to “hear” even before an auditory stimulus is received. According to the researchers, the McGurk effect is strong enough to be perceived even if the viewer knows the illusion is occurring, suggesting that visual stimuli can influence early representations of auditory stimuli. Meaning that knowledge about the phenomenon seems to have little effect on one's perception of it. This is different from some specific optical illusions which break down once one 'sees through' them. This understanding of multisensory neocortical language processing provides insight into the multisensory neural mechanisms underlying language perception and has implications for rehabilitation therapy and neural prostheses.

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