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Exploring the Effects of Familiarity and Synchrony on the McGurk Effect
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by An Maiâ€”Mercer-University
Category: Sensation and Perception
The McGurk effect is a speech phenomenon that demonstrates how speech perception is influenced by both visual and auditory processing (McGurk and MacDonald, 1976). For instance, when there is a discrepancy between the auditory stimulus (hearing a â€œbaâ€ sound) and the visual stimulus (seeing someone move his or her lips to a â€œgaâ€ sound), people report hearing a new and different speech sound (â€œdaâ€). In the present study, I combined the factors of familiarity and synchrony to see what influence their relationship would have on the McGurk effect. Some participants viewed videos of a professor they knew (familiar), whereas others viewed a professor they didnâ€™t know (unfamiliar). Synchrony was manipulated so that the audio was either in synchrony with the video, delayed by 90 ms, or delayed by 180 ms. Participants were presented with the stimuli and asked to report what they heard. Results indicated that the McGurk effect occurred most often when audio and visual stimuli were in synchrony. No other effects were significant. These findings were consistent with the original findings from McGurk and MacDonald, which stressed that the McGurk effect is a multimodal phenomenon.