Purchase this article with an account.
Michael Wan, Cindy Narinesingh, Herbert C Goltz, Manokaraananthan Chandrakumar, Agnes MF Wong; Integrated Visual-Auditory Perception in Amblyopic Adults: A Study Using the McGurk Phenomenon. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):817.
Download citation file:
© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Although classically defined as a developmental disorder characterized by a loss of visual acuity, there is growing evidence that amblyopia affects several higher order perceptual processes. The impact of amblyopia on multisensory integration has not been investigated previously. The McGurk effect is a perceptual phenomenon resulting from an interaction between hearing and vision in speech perception. The purpose of this study was to assess visual-auditory integration in adults with amblyopia using the McGurk effect.
This is a prospective, single-blinded, comparative study. Adults with a history of amblyopia and visually normal controls completed a background questionnaire and underwent a baseline assessment of visual acuity, stereoacuity and eye alignment. Participants were then shown a standard video of congruent (control) and incongruent (McGurk) trials consisting of various combinations of visual and auditory phonemes and asked to report what they heard.
Twenty-two adult subjects with amblyopia (19 female, mean age 32.8 years) and 25 visually normal controls (16 female, mean age 31.8 years) participated in the study. All participants performed at ceiling for congruent trials, with mean accuracy for all groups and viewing conditions exceeding 98%. With incongruent trials, participants with amblyopia were significantly less likely to report hearing a fused phoneme (i.e. demonstrate the McGurk effect) compared to controls (p = 0.01). While this difference was greatest during amblyopic eye viewing, it was also present during fellow eye and binocular viewing. No correlations were found between accuracy and visual acuity or stereoacuity.
This is the first study to demonstrate that adults with amblyopia have a lasting impairment of their ability to integrate visual and auditory signals, independent of visual acuity. Visual-auditory integration is an important perceptual ability and a key component of speech perception. The results of this study add to the growing body of evidence that amblyopia causes an array of deficits beyond the visual system.
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only