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10 November 2010

Ba Ba Ba. An audio/visual illusion known as the McGurk Effect.
Weird. Halfway through I went back to the beginning of the video and figured I could see it correctly now that I knew the illusion. Of course it didn't work, and then I watched rest of the clip and saw that being aware of the illusion doesn't help you fix it. It seems like something you should be able to game.
posted by Slack-a-gogo 10 November | 15:19
The shocking twist is that sheep everywhere have actually been saying "vaa vaa vaa" all this time.
posted by Wolfdog 10 November | 17:09
My work is about the perception of speech and some of my colleagues in grad school did work on the McGurk effect. It's really quite amazing how, yeah, even after hundreds of times that I see it, it still has the magic. However, there are people for whom it just DOES NOT WORK, even from the beginning.

Another neat thing along these lines is categorical perception, which is not limited to speech, but occurs in other domains too. A speech example: A syllable that's (synthesized/manipulated) to sound halfway between, say, "ba" and "pa" is still usually perceived as one OR the other. You can read more about it and try the task for yourself in this online textbook (not my favorite explanation, but only demo I could find online quickly!) There's some work by another set of my colleagues about how speech perception isn't necessarily as categorical as earlier work suggests.

Um, so, yeah, that's why I do what I do. Human speech is REALLY amazing and we're SO good at it, because there are all these clever little things our minds can do. Hot damn.
posted by knile 11 November | 06:11
Wow, knile, how cool (both your work and your comment)!

I've always been interested in speech & language for one of the same reasons I love music- as you said, they seem to be the things we humans do best.
posted by BoringPostcards 11 November | 06:37
My daughter decided to get up with a bounce and a smile at || To The Whelk: