When two become one: Temporally dynamic integration of the face and voice

Jonathan B. Freeman, Nalini Ambady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In everyday interactions with others, people have to deal with the sight of a face and sound of a voice at the same time. How the perceptual system brings this information together over hundreds of milliseconds to perceive others remains unclear. In 2 studies, we investigated how facial and vocal cues are integrated during real-time social categorization by recording participants' hand movements (via the streaming x, y coordinates of the computer mouse) en route to "male" and "female" responses on the screen. Participants were presented with male and female faces that were accompanied by a same-sex voice morphed to be either sex-typical (e.g., masculinized male voice) or sex-atypical (i.e., feminized male voice). Before settling into ultimate sex categorizations of the face, the simultaneous processing of a sex-atypical voice led the hand to be continuously attracted to the opposite sex-category response across construal. This is evidence that ongoing results from voice perception continuously influence face perception across processing. Thus, social categorization involves dynamic updates of gradual integration of the face and voice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-263
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Dynamics
  • Face perception
  • Motor processes
  • Person perception
  • Social categorization
  • Temporal
  • Voice perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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