MAY 19, 2018 04:07 PM PDT

The neuroscience behind Laurel vs. Yanny

4 1 411

Neuroscientist Tyler Perrachione, an Assistant Professor at Boston University, explains the science behind the soundbite that's taken the internet by a storm in the last few days. But first off, are you a Laurel or a Yanny?

Perrachione explains that because the soundbite is distorted, it leaves spaces for the power of suggestion to enter into the equation of what the frequencies actually convey to our ears. What with everyone talking about it, when you go to listen to the clip, you already enter with some idea of what you should be hearing.

When you say the word Laurel out loud, you are emitting lower frequencies than compared to you when say Yanny, which emits higher frequencies. But the pitch of the sound in the clip isn't actually changing, just the emphasize on frequencies. So why is it then that some people can hear both, or maybe that it changes from one moment to the other?

Some people have trouble hearing higher frequencies, which could be for several reasons (getting up in age, too many rock concerts, loud background noise). Even different sets of headphones could pick up higher or lower frequencies, says Perrachione, which could affect the word you hear. Want to learn more about this soundbite gone viral? Watch the video!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JUL 12, 2018
Videos
JUL 12, 2018
Why Poison Ivy Makes us Itch
For some people, summer comes with a risk of many itchy nuisances, including poison ivy.
JUL 15, 2018
Videos
JUL 15, 2018
Can Animals Appreciate Music?
  Our appreciation of rhyme and rhythm might not be unique. Animals may also be music lovers. Using music studies done on crocodiles, the researchers
JUL 16, 2018
Videos
JUL 16, 2018
Neuroscience and the Legal System.
In a court of law, it’s all about the evidence. Whether criminal or civil, the outcome of any legal proceeding must be based on what was presented as
JUL 25, 2018
Videos
JUL 25, 2018
How Dangerous is a Lightning Strike to an Airplane?
Lightning frequently strikes airplanes as they fly through the clouds thousands of feet above the Earth’s surface, but is there any reason for airpla
AUG 02, 2018
Videos
AUG 02, 2018
CBD and THC Effects on the Brain
What has similar chemical make-ups but different structures? CBD and THC. In the video below, learn more about how THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cann
AUG 16, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
AUG 16, 2018
A-bombs Were More Powerful Than First Estimated
The atomic age gave birth to a pair of unlikely twins: onet being nuclear reactor technology that supplies us low-carbon energy and life-saving radioisotop
Loading Comments...