The McGurk Effect

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Hope this is new to people, the McGurk Effect is a auditory illusion where seeing the person lips and not seeing them affects what we hear as demonstrated here on this website:

http://www.media.uio.no/personer/arntm/McGurk_english.html [Broken]

You'll need Quicktime and before playing the short clip read the note beneath it. Its a facinating effect.

Read below after watching the short clip.

Some people hear Da da da da no matter what, some hear ba ba ba ba no matter. Some actually hear combination of those two. It differs from person to person. A normal person should hear ba ba ba when covering the lips and da da da when not. I'm normal. You?
 
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  • #2
Ivan Seeking
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That is weird!!!
 
  • #3
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Wow, that's insane!
 
  • #4
Yeah if you start of looking at it and then look away the voice gradually changes in your head? mysterious...
 
  • #5
O MY GOD.

wow. and even after knowing what he's saying, looking again it sounds like DA... no matter how hard i concentrate: DA DA. can't shake it off ... that's incredible. really makes you wonder about other aspects of perception. freaky.
 
  • #6
Math Is Hard
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This effect is frequently studied in cognitive psychology/neuroscience classes so I moving it over to Mind and Brain Sciences.
 
  • #7
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Wow this is interesting. More so because I just showed it to my father; I just told him to hear and watch the video at the same time without telling him anything else and from the beggining he says he heard ba..., not da as the majority 98% adults do, as the link mentions. By the way I also heard da when looking at the video.
 
  • #8
Ivan Seeking
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No fair! MIH stole my cool thread. :cry::cry::cry:

:biggrin:
 
  • #9
Math Is Hard
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awrrr.. sorry, Ivan. We'll find something cool for you, too!
 
  • #10
Sounds like this guy is saying something in between...
 
  • #11
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Yeah, he's sort of saying "ga". or a "dgha" sound if you watch. If you don't its sorta of a bgha sound, though the last two are distinctly different.
 
  • #12
Moonbear
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I've experienced the effect frequently when listening to lyrics of music. Ever notice how there are some songs that people commonly mangle the lyrics on, or all have different interpretations of what they're hearing?

I wonder if the effect disappears with better enunciation of the words? A lot of people are very lazy in their enunciation, and it does make it harder to distinguish sounds.

When looking at the video, I don't hear "da da" or "ga ga" as the text claims. I hear "la la." It seems more consistent with the open position of his lips and mouth. If he were saying "da da" I'd expect his teeth to come together. I can understand hearing "ga ga" since you can't see where his tongue is when making the sounds. I'm wondering, is he saying any consonant sound at all? Or is he just saying, "ah ah?" (In real life, I'd be inclined to say, "Quit mumbling!" :biggrin:)
 
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  • #13
Ivan Seeking
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I wonder if the effect disappears with better enunciation of the words? A lot of people are very lazy in their enunciation, and it does make it harder to distinguish sounds.

At first I thought this was a matter of misunderstanding what is said and seen, but it gets a bit more tricky. He mouths one thing, and then they dub in a different sound.

... For some reason, they asked their recording technician to create a videotape with the audio syllable "ba" dubbed onto a visual "ga." When they played the tape, McGurk and McDonald perceived "da." Confusion reigned until they realized that "da" resulted from a quirk in human perception, not an error on the technician's part [continued]
http://www.haskins.yale.edu/featured/heads/mcgurk.html

See also:
http://homepage.ntu.edu.tw/~karchung/rm_files/mylove1.wmv
 
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  • #14
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I didn't notice any difference. I hear "BA" either way.
 
  • #15
Ivan Seeking
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I didn't notice any difference. I hear "BA" either way.

Hmmmmm, do you spend a lot of time with sheep?
 
  • #16
I didn't notice any difference. I hear "BA" either way.

boy are you missing out :biggrin: this thing is hours of fun!
 
  • #17
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anybody know how this works?
 
  • #18
this is so sweet. Just goes to show you how much you mind works without you even knowing it.
 
  • #19
Math Is Hard
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anybody know how this works?

It's a conflict between information from two sensory modalities that we would expect to be faithfully and distinctly processed by speech perception areas of the brain. The jury is still out (AFAIK), but one theory of how this interference is consolidated comes from UC Santa Cruz:
http://mambo.ucsc.edu/psl/dwmdir/da.html [Broken]
The classic example of the McGurk effect is that an auditory /ba/
paired with a visual /ga/ often produces the percept /da/. There have
been many different explanations of this finding, beginning with
McGurk and MacDonald's original belief that visible speech determines
the perception of place of articulation and audible speech determines
the perception of voicing. A second and more popular but ambiguous
explanation is that somehow the two modalities are magically fused to
produce the observed outcome. We prefer an explanation within the
context of a pattern recognition framework in terms of support from
the two modalities for viable alternatives. As can be seen in the
accompanying diagram, BOTH modalities support /da/ to some degree,
which can carry the day for this alternative--even though one of the
modalities supports another alternative to a greater degree.

(see diagram on the website)
 
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  • #20
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It reminds me of chinese consonents. Some are a combination of two english consonents like t & d, for example, and it just drives me nuts trying to figure out what they are saying.
 
  • #21
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I've experienced the effect frequently when listening to lyrics of music. Ever notice how there are some songs that people commonly mangle the lyrics on, or all have different interpretations of what they're hearing?

I wonder if the effect disappears with better enunciation of the words? A lot of people are very lazy in their enunciation, and it does make it harder to distinguish sounds.

When looking at the video, I don't hear "da da" or "ga ga" as the text claims. I hear "la la." It seems more consistent with the open position of his lips and mouth. If he were saying "da da" I'd expect his teeth to come together. I can understand hearing "ga ga" since you can't see where his tongue is when making the sounds. I'm wondering, is he saying any consonant sound at all? Or is he just saying, "ah ah?" (In real life, I'd be inclined to say, "Quit mumbling!" :biggrin:)

There are some excellent posts somewhere on the Language Log (http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/) about this. I'm too lazy to track it down. It's a neat phenomenon.

----
Please take a few moments to further science at http://coglanglab.org
 

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