Read my lips
If you’ve seen someone talking before, it’s apparently easier to understand them, even when you can’t hear them clearly. This is one of the findings of a research project at University of California Riverside, according to an article on EureakAlert!.
Researchers showed a group of students a video of someone talking with the sound turned down. Then later showed half of the students the same video with the sound turned up, but with some background noise. The other half of the students saw videos of a different person with the sound on. The first group were able to decipher what the person in the video was saying, even though they couldn’t hear them clearly. The second group had more trouble working out what was being said.
These findings suggest that we all lip-read to some extent, and that we probably find it easier to understand and to read the lips of those we know well.