Lip reading is technically called speechreading by researchers, as it requires a person to focus on someone's entire face, not just their lips. Deaf adults who have practiced the skill are, predictably, far better at speechreading than hearing adults. However, between the ages of 5 and 14, both deaf and hearing children seem to be able to speechread with roughly equal skill. Other research has shown that babies perform a sort of speechreading when they're first learning to speak, so it's not farfetched to say that all of us could speechread to some extent when we were younger.
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Written by Curiosity Staff February 11, 2016
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