This simulation provides an overview of the McGurk effect (impact of visual information on interpreting auditory stimuli) along with an explanation of the effect, information to replicate the effect, and a brief discussion of relevant resources. The material is appropriate for many different audiences, can be applied as either an in-class activity or out-of-class assignment, and serves to effectively illustrate the importance of visual information in speech perception.
Type of Material:
A simulation that can be completed either individually or in a classroom setting.
The simulation would be useful in in a sensation/perception course or in any study of language and information processing. The short video time allows a quick demonstration within class or one could run it outside of class on themselves as well as on others, which would provide even more information for understanding the effect. If going into depth in general psychology, it may be useful for the sensation/perception chapter.
The simulation worked with both Mozilla Firefox 11 and Windows Explorer 8. It required viewing with the most recent Quicktime player. A link to the Quicktime plug-in appears on the main page, but the player did not install automatically in Firefox; it required manual installation and restart of Firefox to get the demonstration to work properly.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
• Learners will understand the McGurk effect (the unconscious influence of visual information on our interpretation of auditory stimuli).
• Learners will understand how visual and auditory information are integrated.
Target Student Population:
Students in any level of study from middle school through high school will appreciate the importance of visual information in the processing of speech. The simulation is more useful for college and graduate students who are engaged in a more in-depth study of communication and language. The material is also beneficial for professionals beyond the classroom in understanding the value in clear enunciation when communicating with others, especially those who are hearing impaired or those whose primary language differs from the current conversation.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
No prerequisite knowledge is needed for a basic understanding. Some understanding of linguistics would be beneficial for advanced comprehension of the material. It also may be useful to have some understanding of the difference between sensation and perception.
The video is complemented by a brief explanation along with relevant research findings and references. One can simply follow the page and achieve a basic understanding of the effect or one could use the references to allow a much deeper understanding. Additionally, information is provided to create one's own demonstrations of the effect.
More depth and detail in the explanatory text would have been helpful; the accompanying information is written in bullet-point format with little detail or explanation. While one can get the main points from reading the text, it is somewhat shallow.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
• This is an interesting demonstration that would capture the attention of most students. The effect is subtle, but the demonstration provides a consistent McGurk effect experience. Participation in the demonstration serves to solidify a conceptual understanding via personal experience.
• To fully understand this effect typically requires experience. The video provides this experience. The additional material provides a summary of the key findings with sources.
Because the accompanying text does not provide adequate detail for a comprehensive understanding of the effect, the instructor would have to do considerable background research to incorporate the simulation in an integrated class discussion.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
• Once Quicktme is installed, the simulation takes the form of a single-button viewing experience.
• The format would allow for students to view individually OR for instructors to utilize for a whole class (in a lecture format).
• The site is easy to use and allows one to get the concept quickly, or take more time to fully understand the literature.
• There is a section that is meant to show the viewer the syllables that are said in the video. This section does not work.
• Installation of the flash player can be time-consuming (e.g., download, install, restart). With no technical information available on the website, some may have difficulty getting the demonstration to work properly.
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