The role of oscillatory phase for perceptual and cognitive processes is being increasingly acknowledged. To date, little is known about the direct role of phase in categorical perception. Here we show in two separate experiments that the identification of ambiguous syllables that can either be perceived as /da/ or /ga/ is biased by the underlying oscillatory phase as measured with EEG and sensory entrainment to rhythmic stimuli. The measured phase difference in which perception is biased toward /da/ or /ga/ exactly matched the different temporal onset delays in natural audiovisual speech between mouth movements and speech sounds, which last 80 ms longer for /ga/ than for /da/. These results indicate the functional relationship between prestimulus phase and syllable identification, and signify that the origin of this phase relationship could lie in exposure and subsequent learning of unique audiovisual temporal onset differences.
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- oscillations, phase, audiovisual, speech, temporal processing, NEURONAL OSCILLATIONS, NEURAL OSCILLATIONS, AUDIOVISUAL SPEECH, RECALIBRATION, MECHANISM, RESPONSES, SELECTION, SOUNDS, CORTEX, MEMORY