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Percept Psychophys. 1996 Apr;58(3):351-62.

Temporal constraints on the McGurk effect.

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Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ont., Canada.


Three experiments are reported on the influence of different timing relations on the McGurk effect. In the first experiment, it is shown that strict temporal synchrony between auditory and visual speech stimuli is not required for the McGurk effect. Subjects were strongly influenced by the visual stimuli when the auditory stimuli lagged the visual stimuli by as much as 180 msec. In addition, a stronger McGurk effect was found when the visual and auditory vowels matched. In the second experiment, we paired auditory and visual speech stimuli produced under different speaking conditions (fast, normal, clear). The results showed that the manipulations in both the visual and auditory speaking conditions independently influenced perception. In addition, there was a small but reliable tendency for the better matched stimuli to elicit more McGurk responses than unmatched conditions. In the third experiment, we combined auditory and visual stimuli produced under different speaking conditions (fast, clear) and delayed the acoustics with respect to the visual stimuli. The subjects showed the same pattern of results as in the second experiment. Finally, the delay did not cause different patterns of results for the different audiovisual speaking style combinations. The results suggest that perceivers may be sensitive to the concordance of the time-varying aspects of speech but they do not require temporal coincidence of that information.

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