Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Seeing Is Believing, 5 of 5

The McGurk effect (perceiving what you see rather than what you hear) arises during phonetic processing because the integration of audio and visual information happens early in speech perception. And it’s not limited to syllables. The effect can occur in whole words. The McGurk effect has also been examined in relation to witness testimony. Wareham and Wright's 2005 study showed that inconsistent visual information can change the perception of spoken utterances. It likely impacts daily interactions in a way that many are unaware of. According to Wikipedia, people who are used to watching dubbed movies may be among those who are not susceptible to the McGurk effect because they have, to some extent, learned to ignore the information they are getting from the mouth of the person speaking.  The take-away? Learn to pay attention and be aware of this phenomenon. If your eyes and ears register different meanings, ask for clarification. Of course, that’s assuming it involves in-person conversations and not something occurring on a movie screen!

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