Audiovisual and lexical cues do not additively enhance perceptual adaptation

Shruti Ullas*, Elia Formisano, Frank Eisner, Anne Cutler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


When listeners experience difficulty in understanding a speaker, lexical and audiovisual (or lipreading) information can be a helpful source of guidance. These two types of information embedded in speech can also guide perceptual adjustment, also known as recalibration or perceptual retuning. With retuning or recalibration, listeners can use these contextual cues to temporarily or permanently reconfigure internal representations of phoneme categories to adjust to and understand novel interlocutors more easily. These two types of perceptual learning, previously investigated in large part separately, are highly similar in allowing listeners to use speech-external information to make phoneme boundary adjustments. This study explored whether the two sources may work in conjunction to induce adaptation, thus emulating real life, in which listeners are indeed likely to encounter both types of cue together. Listeners who received combined audiovisual and lexical cues showed perceptual learning effects similar to listeners who only received audiovisual cues, while listeners who received only lexical cues showed weaker effects compared with the two other groups. The combination of cues did not lead to additive retuning or recalibration effects, suggesting that lexical and audiovisual cues operate differently with regard to how listeners use them for reshaping perceptual categories. Reaction times did not significantly differ across the three conditions, so none of the forms of adjustment were either aided or hindered by processing time differences. Mechanisms underlying these forms of perceptual learning may diverge in numerous ways despite similarities in experimental applications
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707–715
Number of pages9
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin & Review
Issue number4
Early online date21 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Recalibration
  • Perceptual retuning
  • Lipreading
  • Lexical
  • Audiovisual

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