UNIGE researchers have discovered that neural oscillations determine whether the brain chooses eyes or ears to interpret speech. 

To decipher what a person is telling us, we rely on what we hear as well as on what we see by observing lip movements and facial expressions. Until now, we did not know how the brain chooses between auditory and visual stimuli. But a research group of the University of Geneva (UNIGE), funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) recently showed that neural oscillations (brainwaves) are involved in this process. More precisely, it is the phase of these waves – i.e. the point in the wave cycle just before a specific instant – that determines which sensory channel will contribute most to the perception of speech. The results of this study, led by neurologist Pierre Mégevand of the University of Geneva, have just been published in the journal Science Advances. 

Read the press release at the following link.