We investigated the existence of a cross-modal sensory gating reflected by the modulation of an early electrophysiological index, the P50 component. We analyzed event-related brain potentials elicited by audiovisual speech stimuli manipulated along two dimensions: congruency and discriminability. The results showed that the P50 was attenuated when visual and auditory speech information were redundant (i.e. congruent), in comparison with this same event-related potential component elicited with discrepant audiovisual dubbing. When hard to discriminate, however, bimodal incongruent speech stimuli elicited a similar pattern of P50 attenuation. We concluded to the existence of a visual-to-auditory cross-modal sensory gating phenomenon. These results corroborate previous findings revealing a very early audiovisual interaction during speech perception. Finally, we postulated that the sensory gating system included a cross-modal dimension. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.