Auditory-visual integration for speech by children with and without specific language impairment

Linda W. Norrix, Elena Plante, Rebecca Vance, Carol A. Boliek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Purpose: It has long been known that children with specific language impairment (SLI) can demonstrate difficulty with auditory speech perception. However, speech perception can also involve the integration of both auditory and visual articulatory information. Method: Fifty-six preschool children, half with and half without SLI, were studied in order to examine auditory-visual integration. Children watched and listened to video clips of a woman speaking [bi] and [gi]. They also listened to audio clips of [bi], [di], and [gi], produced by the same woman. The effect of visual input on speech perception was tested by presenting an auditory [bi] combined with a visually articulated [gi], which tends to alter the phoneme percept (the McGurk effect). Results: Both groups of children performed at ceiling when asked to identify speech tokens in auditory-only and congruent auditory-visual modalities. In the incongruent auditory-visual condition, a stronger McGurk effect was found for the normal language group compared with the children with SLI. Conclusion: Responses by the children with SLI indicated less impact of visual processing on speech perception than was seen with their normal peers. These results demonstrate that the difficulties with speech perception by SLI children extend beyond the auditory-only modality to include auditory-visual processing as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1639-1651
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007


  • McGurk effect
  • Specific language impairment
  • Speech perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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