Open Access

Developmental Trajectory of Audiovisual Speech Integration in Early Infancy. A Review of Studies Using the McGurk Paradigm


Apart from their remarkable phonological skills young infants prior to their first birthday show ability to match the mouth articulation they see with the speech sounds they hear. They are able to detect the audiovisual conflict of speech and to selectively attend to articulating mouth depending on audiovisual congruency. Early audiovisual speech processing is an important aspect of language development, related not only to phonological knowledge, but also to language production during subsequent years. Th is article reviews recent experimental work delineating the complex developmental trajectory of audiovisual mismatch detection. Th e central issue is the role of age-related changes in visual scanning of audiovisual speech and the corresponding changes in neural signatures of audiovisual speech processing in the second half of the first year of life. Th is phenomenon is discussed in the context of recent theories of perceptual development and existing data on the neural organisation of the infant ‘social brain’.

Publication timeframe:
1 time per year
Journal Subjects:
Social Sciences, Psychology, Applied Psychology