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'Yanny' or 'Laurel'? Why People Hear Different Things In That Viral Clip

17 May 2018, 12:56 | Regina Holmes

Nobody can agree if this robot says 'Yanny' or 'Laurel' and everyone is arguing about it

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YouTube channel Nerd It Up dissected the recording as well, concluding that which word you hear depends on the pitch of the recording.

An audio snippet with just two syllables has ignited an internet meltdown, dividing social media users into staunchly opposed camps: do you hear "Yanny" or "Laurel?" How one hears it is similar to how people viewed a dress on the internet three years ago.

The poor quality of the audio, likely rerecorded multiple times, makes it more open to interpretation by the brain, says Brad Story, a professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at The University of Arizona.

JJ heard Yanny but thanks to his little brother Derek, he hears Laurel. She said the complicated answer has to do with "resonance of the speech sounds".

When he took the bass out, he says he still hears "Laurel". The "ya" and "la" sounds that start the two words are similar and so are the ending sounds, he said.




- There's a new debate taking over social media and it's not about what you can see, it's about what you can hear.

To settle this latest online debacle we consulted CBC master audio technician J.S. Villeneuve, who took the sound apart to show that it's really about the different frequencies people hear. She said she heard Laurel. It could be useful information as many people probably spent a good part of their last 24 hours either looking for your own hearing to be tested or suggesting that others do.

"Age can play a role, as well as expectations, Spoor said".

For an analogy, she cited the 1969 Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Bad Moon Rising:" "There's a bad moon on the rise" versus "there's a bathroom on the right".

As for the dress, some people said it was white and gold while others saw blue and black.



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