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Thursday, May 19, 2011

The McGurk Effect

Quickie post today, as a migraine headache has shown up to rape my weekend!

Have you heard of something called 'The McGurk Effect'? Its the result of confusion between your sense of sight & hearing. These two senses are highly intertwined in humans, but many don't realize this until the two disagree with one another - when you see one thing, & hear another, your mind tries to compensate for the difference by compromising between the two. We can easily test this for ourselves!

Watch this video with your eyes closed - what do you hear? Probably something like 'ba-ba, ba-ba'.




Now, re-watch it with your eyes open. Holy crap, did it just change to 'ga-ga, ga-ga'? You probably heard a slight 'da' sound too.

The audio actually is saying 'ba-ba', but the video is another shot of him saying 'ga-ga'. This effect is similar to an optical illusion, in which your eyes trick your mind. However, unlike in an optical illusion, once you know what's actually happening, your mind will still continue to insist the man is saying 'ga-ga'/'da-da'!

Why does this happen? Our eyes & ears are only instruments used by the brain to gather data - they're indiscriminate, they can't pick & choose. Our brain has to process all this information & make sense of it. When its tripped up by things like the McGurk Effect & optical illusions, it compensates by making something up. Other animals, like the rabbit, can see something with their eyes & instantly send an order directly to their body, bypassing the brain. We lack this ability, as do most predators.

I hope this was a fun insight into biology, & maybe a neat way to freak out your friends!

27 comments:

  1. saw this video a while back. its so amazing how our weird our brain can make things

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  2. That's trippy, really great video, love optical illusions... Thanks

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  3. Great post, i've heard of effects similar to this, but not this one particularly. Supportin

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  4. that's really really weird o.0

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  5. Wow that is crazy, I wasn't expecting much from the video but...!!!
    I feel your pain, literally, I also get regular migraine, with no apparent cause, or at least not a preventable cause. Really annoying when they suck days away from you.

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  6. Wow that is so cool! I'd never heard of this until now :)

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  7. This is amazing haha. Mind = blown.

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  8. haha never heard of this one mane ´thanks you 100x times

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  9. really wierd stuff but kinda interesting,
    Great post, Followed!

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  10. Really nice to know. Our brian is crazy :D

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  11. Awesome post mind=/=blown ;D

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  12. Cool! The brain is such a complicated, amazing organ. We are computers in a way. Hope your headache goes away soon. I had one earlier, from a lack of caffeine.

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  13. i showed this to my friend, he was so freaked out :P

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  14. Sight and hearing are now confused.

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  15. i was closing and opening my eyes during the video and i could hear the change

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  16. Ah, finally a video about audio trickery rather than the usual ones we see about tricks on the eye. And lol at the migraine raping you. Hope you feel better.

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  17. That is super weird! I'll share this with my friends.

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  18. I enjoy things like that :)

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  19. I've never heard of this and it's kinda freaky! funny how our brain works

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