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Poster D56, Thursday, November 9, 6:15 – 7:30 pm, Harborview and Loch Raven Ballrooms

Reducing playback rate of audiovisual speech leads to a surprising decrease in the McGurk effect

John Magnotti1, Debshila Basu Mallick2, Michael Beauchamp1;1Baylor College of Medicine, 2Rice University

We report the unexpected finding that slowing video playback decreases perception of the McGurk effect. This reduction is counter-intuitive because the illusion depends on visual speech influencing the perception of auditory speech, and slowing speech should increase the amount of visual information available to observers. We recorded perceptual data from 110 subjects viewing audiovisual syllables (either McGurk or congruent control stimuli) played back at one of three rates: the rate used by the talker during recording (the natural rate), a slow rate (50% of natural), or a fast rate (200% of natural). We replicated previous studies showing dramatic variability in McGurk susceptibility at the natural rate, ranging from 0-100% across subjects and from 26-76% across the eight McGurk stimuli tested. Relative to the natural rate, slowed playback reduced the frequency of McGurk responses by 11% (79% of subjects showed a reduction) and reduced congruent accuracy by 3% (25% of subjects showed a reduction). Fast playback rate had little effect on McGurk responses or congruent accuracy. To determine whether are results are consistent with Bayesian integration, we constructed a Bayes-optimal model that incorporated two assumptions: individuals combine auditory and visual information according to their reliability, and changing playback rate affects sensory reliability. The model reproduced both our findings of large individual differences and the playback rate effect. This work illustrates that surprises remain in the McGurk effect and that Bayesian integration provides a useful framework for understanding audiovisual speech perception.

Topic Area: Perception: Speech Perception and Audiovisual Integration

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