Multisensory and lexical information in speech perception

Josh Dorsi, Simon Lacey, K. Sathian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Both multisensory and lexical information are known to influence the perception of speech. However, an open question remains: is either source more fundamental to perceiving speech? In this perspective, we review the literature and argue that multisensory information plays a more fundamental role in speech perception than lexical information. Three sets of findings support this conclusion: first, reaction times and electroencephalographic signal latencies indicate that the effects of multisensory information on speech processing seem to occur earlier than the effects of lexical information. Second, non-auditory sensory input influences the perception of features that differentiate phonetic categories; thus, multisensory information determines what lexical information is ultimately processed. Finally, there is evidence that multisensory information helps form some lexical information as part of a phenomenon known as sound symbolism. These findings support a framework of speech perception that, while acknowledging the influential roles of both multisensory and lexical information, holds that multisensory information is more fundamental to the process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1331129
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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