Cross-modal enhancement of the MMN to speech-sounds indicates early and automatic integration of letters and speech-sounds

Dries Froyen, Nienke Van Atteveldt, Milene L Bonte, Leo Blomert

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Recently brain imaging evidence indicated that letter/speech-sound integration, necessary for establishing fluent reading, takes place in auditory association areas and that the integration is influenced by stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between the letter and the speech-sound. In the present study, we used a specific ERP measure known for its automatic character, the mismatch negativity (MMN), to investigate the time course and automaticity of letter/speech-sound integration. We studied the effect of visual letters and SOA on the MMN elicited by a deviant speech-sound. We found a clear enhancement of the MMN by simultaneously presenting a letter, but without changing the auditory stimulation. This enhancement diminishes linearly with increasing SOA. These results suggest that letters and speech-sounds are processed as compound stimuli early and automatically in the auditory association cortex of fluent readers and that this processing is strongly dependent on timing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-8
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume430
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2008

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phonetics
  • Reading
  • Speech Perception
  • Visual Perception
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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