Brainteasers and illusions are a fun way to pass the time, especially for those of us who are stuck at home.
Do you remember the Yanni/Laurel and black/gold dress controversies from a few years back? Well, there’s a new audio illusion in town and a simple explanation as to how your brain deciphers messages along with it.
First, give it a try. It’s easy to do—just read one of the words you see in the video posted by @emilysophie.m, and that’s the word you’ll hear every time.
So, what makes this happen? According to science, something called the McGurk Effect. It’s a phenomenon of perception that demonstrates how your hearing, vision, and speech interact with each other. It occurs when what you hear is paired with what you see, leading to the perception of a sound that only exists as you read the word.
In other words, your visual informs what you hear. In this case, both words are being said at the same time at different frequencies, and your brain is filling in the blanks.
Of course, like Yanni/Laurel and the black or gold dress, this illusion also went viral across social media, with people from all walks of life weighing in. While most people came out on one side or the other, some didn’t hear anything.
Nope. Hear the same thing every time regardless of what I read or close my eyes.
What a load of tosh man. Move on, nothing to see here
— Rõ̶͚̪͔͝bert Hollings (AKA Western Fox) (@hollingsuk) July 28, 2020
And some only heard one word, no matter what they read.
I read brainstorm, twice n both times I heard green needle 😂😂
— This_Dan_ (@ThisDan1) July 28, 2020
I hear "brain needle." Do I need to see a doctor?
— Terry Wayne Carpenter, Jr. (@TJCarpenterShow) July 28, 2020
To be fair, the McGurk Effect doesn’t work for everyone. This can be chalked up to having different hearing abilities or brain processes.
Which word did you hear? Let us know in the comments below!