Beat gestures modulate auditory integration in speech perception

TitleBeat gestures modulate auditory integration in speech perception
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsBiau E, Soto-Faraco S
JournalBrain and Language
Volume124
Issue2
Pagination143-152
Date Published02/2013
Abstract

Spontaneous beat gestures are an integral part of the paralinguistic context during face-to-face conversations. Here we investigated the time course of beat-speech integration in speech perception by measuring ERPs evoked by words pronounced with or without an accompanying beat gesture, while participants watched a spoken discourse. Words accompanied by beats elicited a positive shift in ERPs at an early sensory stage (before 100 ms) and at a later time window coinciding with the auditory component P2. The same word tokens produced no ERP differences when participants listened to the discourse without view of the speaker. We conclude that beat gestures are integrated with speech early on in time and modulate sensory/phonological levels of processing. The present results support the possible role of beats as a highlighter, helping the listener to direct the focus of attention to important information and modulate the parsing of the speech stream.

DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2012.10.008