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  • Do you hear Yanny

  • or Laurel

  • A recent Twitter poll found, that 47% of people hear "Yanny", while 53% hear "Laurel"

  • Clearly this has created an internet argument that is dividing the nation

  • So what is the science behind the madness?

  • One of the first aspects is priming

  • If you were to play this clip without providing the option of "Yanny" or "Laurel"

  • you may have heard neither of these words

  • But by reading them, you're primed to hear one or the other.

  • Secondly when you speak you are producing sound waves, which propagate through the air

  • This is a visual depiction of the sound waves of the original Yanny/Laurel recording

  • created by Brad Story, a Professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing

  • Here is the depiction of him saying "Laurel"

  • You can see that the acoustic features are very similar

  • Here is a depiction of him saying "Yanny"

  • The acoustic features are also similar

  • So the words "Yanny" and "Laurel" audibly are more similar than you might think

  • Whether you're listening on a laptop, phone or headphones

  • will influence what you hear based on sound quality

  • But what if you were listening through the same device but you hear different things with someone next to you

  • It might have to do with the age of your ears

  • The sounds in "Yanny" play at a higher frequency than the sounds in "Laurel"

  • As we age, our ears are less able to hear higher frequencies

  • So if you are hearing "Yanny", you might have younger ears

  • Luckily with the help of the internet, we can hear both

  • Brilliant twitter user @xxv posted audio of the pitch brought both down and up

  • When you listen to it brought down 30%, you will hear "Yanny"

  • Yanny x2

  • But when you listen to it with the pitch brought up 30%, you will likely hear Laurel

  • Laurel x2

  • Your brain has so much stimulus at all times that it uses existing information and precise neurological pathways to focus its attention

  • This is why at a loud party you can listen to your friend beside you

  • but pop your attention into another convo if need be

  • Similarly, your brain is unconsciously choosing which frequencies in the recording to pay attention to so

  • So... What is the final answer?

  • If you heard "Laurel", you are correct! The original recording is saying Laurel

  • but with higher frequencies overlaid, creating ambiguity

  • Love learning about amazing and interesting things in the world?

  • We actually just started a brand new podcast called "SIDENOTE"

  • where we explore the things that are stumping us or making us curious in life

  • and then insert all the mind-blowing science behind it

  • We'd love for you to check it out on iTunes or whichever podcast app you use

  • Your support means a ton to us as we slowly journey into exploring more science in a new medium

  • Again it's called SIDENOTE and it's brand new, so we're excited to know what you think

  • We'll leave some links below

  • And subscribe for more weekly science videos every Thursday

Do you hear Yanny

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B2 US laurel yanny hear depiction recording x2

Do You Hear "Yanny" or "Laurel"? (SOLVED with SCIENCE)

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    Samuel posted on 2018/05/20
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