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Read about the latest research published inĀ Psychological Science.

Lip Movements Affect Infants’ Audiovisual Speech Perception

H. Henny Yeung and Janet F. Werker

Although research has suggested that audio-visual speech perception is linked to articulatory movements in adults, no studies have examined this link in infants. Infants performed an audiovisual matching procedure while making lip movements similar or different from those seen in the task. Infants’ looking patterns were biased away from audiovisually matching faces when they made lip movements similar to those needed to produce the heard vowel. This suggests that sensorimotor information is directly implicated in audio-visual speech processing in infants.

Stuck in the Past: Neural Events That Predict Intrusions From Prior Trials

Simon Fischer-Baum and Brian D. Gonsalves

What causes people to make perseveration errors while they are performing an immediate-serial-recall (ISR) task? When electroencephalograms were collected during the encoding phase of an ISR task, correctly recalled words were shown to have elicited greater frontal positivity than were perseverated or nonrecalled words. Differences in waveforms were seen between words that were or were not perseverated. This suggests that problems in processing both current and past trials contribute to perseveration errors during ISR tasks.

Friends Shrink Foes: The Presence of Comrades Decreases the Envisioned Physical Formidability of an Opponent

Daniel M. T. Fessler and Colin Holbrook

What affects a person’s perceptions of a potential opponent? Male participants who were walking alone or as part of a small group of men were shown a picture of a threatening man and were asked to estimate his height, overall size, and muscularity. Men who were walking alone judged the pictured man to be taller, larger, and more muscular than did men walking with a group. This suggests that the presence of potential allies can affect the perceived formidability of a possible foe.