May 20, 2018

Do you hear Laurel or Yanny? Here's what the experts say

18 May 2018, 03:32 | Taylor George

PixabayLaurel vs Yanny One sound has provoked fierce debate


Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said he'd like "to declare something that is just so obvious: It is laurel and not yanny". The site commissioned a "bunch of opera singers" to record 200,000 different words, and "Laurel" was among the group. He carried out his own experiment by analyzing a waveform image of the viral recording and compared it to recordings of himself saying "laurel" and "yanny". Do you hear "Yanny" or "Laurel" when you listen to the clip?

The nationwide dispute began on Reddit and has been going on for the last few days with millions of people asking, "Is it Yanny or is it Laurel?" "At first I only heard Yanny then I heard Laurel and sometimes it switches in the same recording". How one hears it is similar to how people viewed a dress on the internet three years ago and raised questions of whether the mind and ear can be out of sync.

"People may not always be able to hear things the way that you're hearing".

Add to that the visual cue that it could in fact be "green needle" and you've got yourself a case well and truly closed.

But if muddy audio or an unfamiliar speech pattern is all it takes to fool the brain, how can we trust anything we hear?

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"How are y'all hearing Laurel?"

The US Department of Defence made light of the controversy on its Twitter account, with a photo of a US Marine Corps instructor berating a recruit: "I said it's #Yanny, recruit, not #Laurel!"

Fallon was in the minority, saying he could hear it both ways. Alais says that the brain can flip back and forth between both sounds because it can find a definitive interpretation of the clip.

Ellen recalled the dress debate as well, but said she sees a gold and white dress.

"In your head?" Ellen joked. Tucker said it's a matter of taking in all the other information that usually accompanies what we're hearing.

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