Thursday, November 3, 2011

Say What You See Someone Saying

National Geographic Channel recently aired a 3-part special titled Brain Games which featured a segment about a speech perception phenomenon called the McGurk effect.

Here is a user-submitted recording of that segment from You Tube:

And here is a segment about the phenomenon from BBC TWO (this one is easier to view and I think it does a better job demonstrating and explaining what is happening):

The gist of the McGurk effect is that when a person's eyes see something different than what the ears hear, visual perception frequently overrules auditory perception. In other words, sight tells a person what to hear even if it is incorrect.

While not exactly the same, this reminded me of a gag children used to play when I was in elementary school. Person A would mouth the words "olive juice" to Person B. Thus, Person B would think that Person A had said "I love you".

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