Yanny or Laurel? Strange Audio Clip Explained.

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Yanny or Laurel? Strange Audio Clip Explained.‘National GeographicIs this strange, robotic voice saying ‘Yanny’ or ‘Laurel’?‘Montreal GazetteYanny or Laurel: What do you hear?‘The Daily Nonpareil

Experts say it comes down to the frequencies we hear and, perhaps more importantly, the frequencies we expect to hear.

Brad Story from the University of Arizona’s Speech Acoustics and Physiology Lab took a fine-toothed comb through the clip: ‘I’m pretty sure the original recording was ‘laurel,’" he says. "The reason it can be confused is that there is a family of frequencies produced by the shape of our throat and mouth."

The three lowest frequencies are used to encode language as a sound wave. The third frequency distinguishes between l and r. This frequency is high for l, like at the beginning and end of "laurel," and low for r, as in the middle of "laurel."

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  • Publisher: National Geographic News
  • Date: 2018-05-15T20:24:20-0400
  • Twitter: @NatGeo
  • Citation: Web link

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And here’s another article:

Is this strange, robotic voice saying ‘Yanny’ or ‘Laurel’?

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  • Publisher: Montreal Gazette
  • Date: 2018-05-15T21:12:46+00:00
  • Twitter: @mtlgazette
  • Citation: Web link

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Yanny or Laurel? Strange Audio Clip Explained.

I heard ‘laurel.’ But my co-worker heard ‘yanny.’ Welcome to ‘the dress’ debate of 2018.

Break.

To test this, Story recorded his own voice pronouncing both words and found similarities in the sound patterns for ‘yanny’ and ‘laurel.’ Because the original audio clip isn’t exceptionally clear, it leaves room for interpretation’and that’s where the mental controversy kicks in.

‘It’s the difference between listening and hearing,’ says Douglas Beck, senior editor of academic sciences at the audiology trade magazine Hearing Review. ‘Hearing is simply perceiving sound. You can hear if you’re asleep. Listening is attributing meaning to sound.’

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