Electrophysiological evidence for speech-specific audiovisual integration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Lip-read speech is integrated with heard speech at various neural levels. Here, we investigated the extent to which lip-read induced modulations of the auditory N1 and P2 (measured with EEG) are indicative of speech-specific audiovisual integration, and we explored to what extent the ERPs were modulated by phonetic audiovisual congruency. In order to disentangle speech-specific (phonetic) integration from non-speech integration, we used Sine-Wave Speech (SWS) that was perceived as speech by half of the participants (they were in speech-mode), while the other half was in non-speech mode. Results showed that the N1 obtained with audiovisual stimuli peaked earlier than the N1 evoked by auditory-only stimuli. This lip-read induced speeding up of the N1 occurred for listeners in speech and non-speech mode. In contrast, if listeners were in speech-mode, lip-read speech also modulated the auditory P2, but not if listeners were in non-speech mode, thus revealing speech-specific audiovisual binding. Comparing ERPs for phonetically congruent audiovisual stimuli with ERPs for incongruent stimuli revealed an effect of phonetic stimulus congruency that started at ~200 ms after (in)congruence became apparent. Critically, akin to the P2 suppression, congruency effects were only observed if listeners were in speech mode, and not if they were in non-speech mode. Using identical stimuli, we thus confirm that audiovisual binding involves (partially) different neural mechanisms for sound processing in speech and non-speech mode.
Keywords: N1, P2, Audiovisual speech, Sine-wave speech, Audiovisual integration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-211
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Electrophysiological evidence for speech-specific audiovisual integration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this