Talker and Lexical Effects on Audiovisual Word Recognition by Adults With Cochlear Implants

Kaiser, Adam R.; Kirk, Karen Iler; Lachs, Lorin; Pisoni, David B.
April 2003
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Apr2003, Vol. 46 Issue 2, p390
Academic Journal
The present study examined how postlingually deafened adults with cochlear implants combine visual information from lipreading with auditory cues in an open-set word recognition task. Adults with normal hearing served as a comparison group. Word recognition performance was assessed using lexically controlled word lists presented under auditory-only, visual-only, and combined audiovisual presentation formats. Effects of talker variability were studied by manipulating the number of talkers producing the stimulus tokens. Lexical competition was investigated using sets of lexically easy and lexically hard test words. To assess the degree of audiovisual integration, a measure of visual enhancement, R a , was used to assess the gain in performance provided in the audiovisual presentation format relative to the maximum possible performance obtainable in the auditory-only format. Results showed that word recognition performance was highest for audiovisual presentation followed by auditory-only and then visual-only stimulus presentation. Performance was better for single-talker lists than for multiple-talker lists, particularly under the audiovisual presentation format. Word recognition performance was better for the lexically easy than for the lexically hard words regardless of presentation format. Visual enhancement scores were higher for single-talker conditions compared to multiple-talker conditions and tended to be somewhat better for lexically easy words than for lexically hard words. The pattern of results suggests that information from the auditory and visual modalities is used to access common, multimodal lexical representations in memory. The findings are discussed in terms of the complementary nature of auditory and visual sources of information that specify the same underlying gestures and articulatory events...


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