Remember that internet debate over whether a certain dress was white and gold or blue and black?
Well, it is back but this time in the form of Yanny and Laurel.
Cloe Feldman, a social media influencer and vlogger, posted a poll on Twitter with the question, “What do you hear? Yanny or Laurel?” accompanied by a recording.
What do you hear?! Yanny or Laurel pic.twitter.com/jvHhCbMc8I
— Cloe Feldman (@CloeCouture) May 15, 2018
Soon after the tweet was posted, a debate surfaced on the internet where people argued whether the clip said “Laurel” or “Yanny”.
According to the poll, 47% of the people hear “Yanny” whereas 53% people hear “Laurel”.
So here’s a scientific explanation for why different people hear different things:
One of the major factors playing its role here is priming – that is if you were to play this clip without providing any of the options, you may have heard neither of these words but by reading them, you are primed to hear one or the other.
Moreover, the acoustic features of the words “Yanny” and “Laurel” are very similar which means that the two words are audibly more similar than one might think.
The age of your ears also play a key role here. The sounds in “Yanny” play at a higher frequency than the sounds in “Laurel”. As we age, our ears are less able to hear the higher frequencies so if you are hearing “Yanny”, you might have younger ears.
So what is the right answer?
Well, if you heard “Laurel”, you heard it correctly!
The original recording is saying Laurel but with higher frequencies overlaid creating ambiguity, you also sometimes hear “Yanny”.
Source: YouTube - AsapSCIENCE