Lip reading own words much easier than others'
People can lip-read themselves better than they can do others, a new study has revealed.
The study by Nancy Tye-Murray and colleagues from Washington University explores the link between speech perception and speech production.
Tye-Murray and her team developed simple, nonsensical sentences from word boards e.g. the duck watched the boy and the snail watched the goose, so that participants would easily be able to identify and recognize individual words.
Twenty adults recorded the sentences and, after several weeks, lip-read silent video clips with sentences spoken both by themselves and by nine other participants.
Participants were able to lip-read video clips of themselves consistently and more accurately than video clips of others.
These findings suggested that seeing someone speak activates speech processes that link "seen" words to "actual" words in the mental lexicon, and the activation is particularly strong when you see yourself speak.
"This study is one of the first to show that not only can people recognize their own actions from those of others, but they can better interpret their own actions," the authors said.
"A strong link may exist between how we perform actions and how we perceive actions; that is, we may activate some of the very same mental representations when performing and when perceiving.
"These findings have important implications for understanding how we learn new actions and, particularly, for how we learn to recognize and produce speech," the authors added.
The study has been published in Springer's Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.