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Like “the dress” in 2015, there’s an audio clip making the rounds on the internet that’s causing people to question their reality. Do you hear “Laurel” or “Yanny”? And more importantly, can you imagine anyone else hearing it differently?

“I hear Laurel through and through, unless somebody does something to the sound.”

That’s Dana Boebinger, a PhD student at Harvard studying auditory cognitive neuroscience. Boebinger wrote one of the first posts on social media tackling the science of the Laurel-Yanny clip.

Boebinger says the clip has lots of different frequencies, and you can change whether someone hears “Laurel” or “Yanny” by filtering high or low sounds out. That means you might have heard different words depending on the speakers you used. But there’s more to it.

“That doesn’t explain why someone’s perception might change, or why people who are hearing the same thing in the same room on the same device might hear it differently. … I think — and I’m biased as a neuroscientist — that a lot of it is in the brain,” Boebinger said.

“I think people want to believe that they have direct access to what’s out there and we don’t,” said Rosa Lafer-Sousa, a cognitive science grad student at MIT who studies color perception. She’s researched the famous dress — the one that divided opinion on whether it was black and blue or white and gold. She even has one in her office.

“It really shook the color field. … Any time we have a phenomenon like this, it’s a really rich opportunity for research into the principles of perception,” Lafer-Sousa said.

Both the dress and the audio clip are examples of ambiguous stimuli. That means they aren’t clear on their own and are missing context our brains could otherwise …read more

Source:: Newsy Headlines


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