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McGurk
April 16, 2004 11:00 AM   Subscribe

The McGurk Effect
posted by knutmo (38 comments total)

 
You've completely freaked me out for the rest of the day. thanks!
posted by GeekAnimator at 11:17 AM on April 16, 2004


Awesome.
posted by cortex at 11:20 AM on April 16, 2004


I don't get it. He continues to say "Ba Ba, ba ba, ba ba."

THERE ARE 4 LIGHTS!!!!
posted by jpburns at 11:31 AM on April 16, 2004


I'm disappointed, I was hoping this was going to be about Coach McGurk from Home Movies.
posted by Hlewagast at 11:32 AM on April 16, 2004


That's pretty amazing. Thanks.
posted by alms at 11:34 AM on April 16, 2004


What about that classic phenomenon whereby someone reads instructions for an exercise and upon completion of said exercise swears they heard it correctly as mentioned in the original instructions?
posted by xmutex at 11:45 AM on April 16, 2004


Freeeaky. I heard BA while listening, GA while watching.
posted by mimi at 11:46 AM on April 16, 2004


[ wtf! ] I am such a sucker for this stuff.
posted by shoepal at 11:55 AM on April 16, 2004


I heard Tha Tha.... ohh well
posted by banished at 11:56 AM on April 16, 2004


Me too, mimi; I couldn't make myself hear "da da", but definitely perceived a different sound when I had my eyes shut.
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:06 PM on April 16, 2004


speed it up and you get the intro to pork chop sandwiches.

nice link, though.
posted by Busithoth at 12:12 PM on April 16, 2004


This is the coolest and strangest thing I have seen (and heard, and fused) in a long time.
posted by keef at 12:13 PM on April 16, 2004



Mars, it's actually 'ba ba', so it's good you couldn't force it into 'da da'

posted by Busithoth at 12:13 PM on April 16, 2004


I'm confused, how can you say "ba ba" without using your lips? Secondarily, how many typos can they fit into one small paragraph of text and still expect me to take them seriously?
posted by pejamo at 12:15 PM on April 16, 2004


I think the audio was dubbed in afterwards, pejamo.
posted by Busithoth at 12:21 PM on April 16, 2004


What about that classic phenomenon whereby someone reads instructions for an exercise and upon completion of said exercise swears they heard it correctly as mentioned in the original instructions?

Not followin'... but I'm interested.
posted by Witty at 12:22 PM on April 16, 2004


All I heard was Tom Brokaw saying "LA LA LA LA LA LA"

or:

"GA GA GA GA GA GA"
posted by tristeza at 12:23 PM on April 16, 2004


I think the audio was dubbed in afterwards, pejamo.

Right... hence the effect.
posted by Witty at 12:30 PM on April 16, 2004


All we hear is
Radio Ga Ga
posted by cortex at 12:37 PM on April 16, 2004


I once saw this effect demonstrated in front of an audience of a few hundred people, as part of a seminar on developmental linguistics. The speaker's point was that language has many visual cues associated with it, so in teaching language to infants, it's important to have a native speaker who can accurately reproduce those cues, along with the proper phonetics. Infants can't learn language properly from an audio recording.

Anyway, when she gave this demonstration (video of the speaker, projected hugely at the front of the room), you could hear collective gasps and giggles coming from the audience as people opened and closed their eyes. Single most impressive demonstration I've ever seen as part of a scientific talk, I think.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:39 PM on April 16, 2004


busithoth - Thank you! Now I am sufficiently weirded out.
posted by pejamo at 12:48 PM on April 16, 2004


I thought this was going to be about a 10-year-old detective.
posted by jeffmshaw at 1:08 PM on April 16, 2004


Anybody else hear a command to murder?
posted by Hildago at 1:25 PM on April 16, 2004


This thread has a disturbingly high concentration of my surname. I am officially freaked out.
posted by mmcg at 2:44 PM on April 16, 2004


Weird science. In other McG news, Dirt McGirk
posted by roboto at 3:03 PM on April 16, 2004


Amazing! Slightly off-topic, but inattentional blindness is another cool example of how our brains warp and filter reality (no video unfortunately).
posted by chrispy at 3:32 PM on April 16, 2004


I most definately also heard a command to murder.
posted by pissfactory at 3:48 PM on April 16, 2004


Very interesting. I heard "ba ba" and "da da" like most people. My wife on the other hand heard "ba ba" with her eyes closed and "ga ga" with her eyes open.

She has limited hearing in one of her ears. So it makes sense that she'd rely more on the visual input.
posted by alms at 4:53 PM on April 16, 2004


Interesting........................................... hypothesis.
posted by Keyser Soze at 5:06 PM on April 16, 2004


Keyser Soze, what's the hypothesis here?
posted by Gyan at 6:17 PM on April 16, 2004


I have perfect hearing, but the recording sounded exactly the same to me with my eyes open or closed: "ba ba".
posted by quarantine at 7:11 PM on April 16, 2004


I covered the guy's mouth up and kept watching his eyes, and heard ba ba. I moved my finger away and it immediately sounded like da da (the moment I saw his lips.) I hear da da even if the guy is on my peripheral, and have to close my eyes or turn my head completely to hear the ba-s.

How freeeeeeeeeeeeaky.
posted by precocious at 7:59 PM on April 16, 2004


Banished, I am so clearly hearing a 'tha tha,' as well. This is really incredible. It's one thing to be fooled the first time, but what amazes me is even after closing my eyes and knowing that it is really 'ba ba' with my eyes open again I still hear it wrong. I mean, I'm hearing it. Like the tha/da sound is coming into my ears. The effect even works if I glance away from the screen during the video.

[this is great]
posted by rafter at 9:13 PM on April 16, 2004


Ba ba all the way for me, eyes open or closed.
posted by ursus_comiter at 9:20 PM on April 16, 2004


chrispy -- there are videos of the inattentional blindness studies here.
posted by Turd Furguson at 7:40 AM on April 17, 2004


Incidentally, the difference between ba ba and ga ga is what's stopping the airflow from the lungs -- in ba ba, it's the lips, in ga ga, it's the center of the tongue. Obvious to some, but I had _no_ idea of tongue shaping before linguistics class. Didn't even realize the basic stuff, like the identical nature of f/v, s/z, t/d, etc... they're spoken the same, it's just if our throat buzzes or not. Feel your mouth move.

The McGurk effect probably has alot to do with the fusion of sensory signals at the LGN -- the laternal genticular nuclei. Basically, our optical and auditory nerves merge at this small nut shaped region, and are joined by nerves from all over the rest of the brain. IOW, there are feedback loops that modify our sensory signals _before they're even analyzed_. Thus the very strongly perceived auditory shift based on lip motion -- I mean, it's not just that we understand differently, it really feels like the voice says something different when we close our eyes.
posted by effugas at 9:41 AM on April 17, 2004


Within the fractal dissonance of fractured emergence, the grammar of cellular automata subsumes itself.
posted by Gyan at 11:11 AM on April 17, 2004


It sounded like a deaf person saying da da, to me. Lots of Gallaudet students around my neighborhood, so maybe I'm just used to hearing that. But it makes sense, in that they are producing sounds they haven't heard.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:10 AM on April 19, 2004


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