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Bottom-up driven speechreading in a speechreading expert: The case of AA (JK023)
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning.
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning.
2005 (English)In: Ear and Hearing, ISSN 0196-0202, Vol. 26, no 2, 214-224 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: This case study tested the threshold hypothesis (Rönnberg et al., 1998), which states that superior speechreading skill is possible only if high-order cognitive functions, such as capacious verbal working memory, enable efficient strategies. Design: In a case study, a speechreading expert (AA) was tested on a number of speechreading and cognitive tasks and compared with control groups (z scores). Sentence-based speechreading tests, a word-decoding test, and a phoneme identification task were used to assess speechreading skill at different analytical levels. The cognitive test battery used included tasks of working memory (e.g., reading span), inference-making, phonological processing (e.g., rhyme-judgment), and central-executive functions (verbal fluency, Stroop task). Results: Contrary to previous cases of extreme speechreading skill, AA excels on both low-order (phoneme identification: z = +2.83) and high-order (sentence-based: z = +8.12 and word-decoding: z = +4.21) speechreading tasks. AA does not display superior verbal inference-making ability (sentence-completion task: z = -0.36). Neither does he possess a superior working memory (reading span: z = +0.80). However, AA outperforms the controls on two measures of executive retrieval functions, the semantic (z = +3.77) and phonological verbal fluency tasks (z = +3.55). Conclusions: The performance profile is inconsistent with the threshold hypothesis. Extreme speechreading accuracy can be obtained in ways other than via well-developed high-order cognitive functions. It is suggested that AA's extreme speechreading skill, which capitalizes on low-order functions in combination with efficient central executive functions, is due to early onset of hearing impairment. Copyright © 2005 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 26, no 2, 214-224 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-45482DOI: 10.1097/00003446-200504000-00008OAI: diva2:266378
Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11 Last updated: 2011-01-12

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Andersson, UlfLidestam, Björn
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