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Percept Psychophys. 2004 May;66(4):574-83.

Spatial frequency requirements for audiovisual speech perception.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


Spatial frequency band-pass and low-pass filtered images of a talker were used in an audiovisual speech-in-noise task. Three experiments tested subjects' use of information contained in the different filter bands with center frequencies ranging from 2.7 to 44.1 cycles/face (c/face). Experiment 1 demonstrated that information from a broad range of spatial frequencies enhanced auditory intelligibility. The frequency bands differed in the degree of enhancement, with a peak being observed in a mid-range band (11-c/face center frequency). Experiment 2 showed that this pattern was not influenced by viewing distance and, thus, that the results are best interpreted in object spatial frequency, rather than in retinal coordinates. Experiment 3 showed that low-pass filtered images could produce a performance equivalent to that produced by unfiltered images. These experiments are consistent with the hypothesis that high spatial resolution information is not necessary for audiovisual speech perception and that a limited range of spatial frequency spectrum is sufficient.

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