Intriguing article just out in JAMA Ophthalmology: The Effect of Amblyopia on Visual-Auditory Speech Perception
Why Mothers May Say “Look At Me When I’m Talking To You”. In a nutshell, it presents why the benefits of amblyopia therapy may extend beyond visual acuity improvement. The authors note a trend where amblyopia treated successfully earlier in life has a greater chance of providing normal auditory-visual fusion. The probe they used in this study was an auditory-visual illusion known as the McGurk effect. If you click on the link from the study above you can go to the Multimedia bar to view the specific test they used.
The authors note that although this pilot study presents new evidence suggesting how amblyopia affects the perception of sound, larger prospective clinical studies are required to further elucidate the potential downstream consequences in higher cortical language development. They add that future areas of research include testing amblyopic patients for associations with other groups of participants who also fail to perceive the McGurk effect, such as those with functional magnetic resonance imaging defects in the left superior temporal sulcus, autism spectrum disorders, and language learning disorders.
Another angle on the coupling between auditory and visual development, as I touched upon in a monograph on the parallels between auditory and visual processing.