Seeing speech affects acoustic information processing in the human brainstem

Gabriella Musacchia*, Mikko Sams, Trent Nicol, Nina Kraus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Afferent auditory processing in the human brainstem is often assumed to be determined by acoustic stimulus features alone and immune to stimulation by other senses or cognitive factors. In contrast, we show that lipreading during speech perception influences early acoustic processing. Event-related brainstem potentials were recorded from ten healthy adults to concordant (acoustic-visual match), conflicting (acoustic-visual mismatch) and unimodal stimuli. Audiovisual (AV) interactions occurred as early as ∼11 ms post-acoustic stimulation and persisted for the first 30 ms of the response. Furthermore, the magnitude of interaction depended on AV pairings. These findings indicate considerable plasticity in early auditory processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Auditory
  • Brainstem
  • Multisensory
  • Speech
  • Visual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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