Perceptual Integration of Visual Evidence of the Airstream from Aspirated Stops


  • Connor Mayer University of British Columbia
  • Bryan Gick University of British Columbia Haskins Laboratories
  • Tamra Weigel University of British Columbia
  • Douglas H Whalen Haskins Laboratories City University of New York




This study investigates whether indirect visual evidence of aspiration can influence speech perception as previously found for tactile information. Participants were shown video of a speaker producing the sequence "pom" and "bomb" in a noisy setting. In some tokens, a candle was visibly perturbed by aspiration. All participants were more likely to correctly identify “pom” and incorrectly identify “bomb” in the presence of visible perturbation, indicating that perceptual integration was taking place. This effect was stronger for participants who reported being consciously aware of the candle as a predictor. This indicates that ambient information can be incorporated in speech perception even when presented via an indirect modality, and that active attention can amplify this effect.

Author Biographies

Connor Mayer, University of British Columbia

B.A. with Honours in Linguistics from UBC. Bachelor of Computer Science from UBC. Software engineer at Demonware.

Bryan Gick, University of British Columbia Haskins Laboratories

Professor, UBC Department of Linguistics; Senior Researcher, Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, CT; Director, UBC Interdisciplinary Speech Research Laboratory (ISRL); Associate Member, UBC Department of Psychology; Associate Member, UBC School of Audiology & Speech Sciences; Member, UBC Institute for Computing, Information & Cognitive Sciences

Tamra Weigel, University of British Columbia

B.A. in Linguistics from UBC. Currently enrolled in the Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology at UBC.

Douglas H Whalen, Haskins Laboratories City University of New York

Douglas H. Whalen received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from Yale University in 1982. Since 2011 he has been a Distinguished Professor in the Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences program at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is a long standing member of Haskins Laboratories in New Haven Connecticut, where he is a Senior Scientist and Vice President for Research.Dr. Whalen studies the relationship between speech production and speech perception from the perspective of the motor theory of speech perception.

Additionally, he is the President of the Endangered Language Fund and a founding member of the Association for Laboratory Phonology. From 2006 through 2008, he served as a program officer at the National Science Foundation where he was affiliated with the Cognitive Neuroscience, Documenting Endangered Languages, and Linguistics programs.




How to Cite

Mayer C, Gick B, Weigel T, Whalen DH. Perceptual Integration of Visual Evidence of the Airstream from Aspirated Stops. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2013 Dec. 4 [cited 2023 Jun. 3];41(3):23-7. Available from:



Article - Speech Sciences

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