Neural signatures of face-voice synchrony in 5-month-old human infants

Daniel C. Hyde, Blake L. Jones, Ross Flom, Chris L. Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Infants' unitary perception of their multisensory world, including learning from people (faces and speech), hinges on temporal synchrony. Despite its importance, relatively little work has investigated the brain processes involved in infants' perception of temporal synchrony. In two experiments, we examined event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to asynchronous and synchronous audio-visual speech in infants. Both experiments showed the early auditory P2 was greater for the synchronously presented pairings and later attentional processing (Nc) was greater for asynchronous pairings. In addition, dynamic stimuli used in Experiment 2 produced a greater early visual response (N1) to the asynchronous condition and an enhanced memory-related slow wave (PSW) later for the synchronous condition. These results suggest that, like adults, auditory-visual integration for young infants begins early during sensory processing rather than later during higher-level cognitive processing. However, unlike adults, infants' brain responses may be biased towards synchrony. Furthermore, effects of attentional and memory processing confirm interpretations of behavioral looking patterns suggesting infants find synchrony more familiar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-370
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental psychobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention
  • Auditory processing
  • Event-related potentials
  • Infancy
  • Intersensory
  • Memory
  • Multisensory
  • Perception
  • Sensory integration
  • Visual processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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