Yanny or Laurel? What-do-you-hear debate takes over social media

Kelvin Reese
May 17, 2018

It's an epic auditory insult. She said she heard Laurel.

It's entirely possible, for scientific reasons laid out by my colleague Zoƫ Schlanger in her story May 15, that you might perceive the audio here as either Laurel or Yanny.

What do you hear?!

In the audio clip you can hear a male operator saying one word but people are split in half over it because they're actually hearing two completely different words even though it's the same recording.

Those used to hearing a deeper pitch will hear "Laurel", while those used to hearing higher pitched voices will hear "Yanny", Disharoon said.

So what is going on?

Brad Story, Professor of Speech, Language and Hearing at The University of Arizona told CNN: "When I analysed the recording of Laurel, that third resonance is very high for the L. It drops for the R and then it rises again for the L".

The year 2018 has found its equivalent of the great "Black-and-Blue vs Gold-and-White" dress debate.

Much of May-Erdogan presser in London about Gaza, democratic values
Netanyahu meanwhile told Erdogan that as a leading supporter of Palestinian group Hamas "there's no doubt he's an expert on terror and slaughter".

A straw poll carried out among staff in AFP's Washington bureau counted 17 for Yanny, and 14 for Laurel.

We have a new version of "The Dress". As a result, "your brain makes all kinds of predictions" about what it thinks you're hearing, he said... What was mysterious about The Dress is that half the people saw it as in the shade, and the other half as in the sun.

'The chipmunk should sound like laurel and the bear should be yanny separately, ' he continued. She asked other Reddit users what they heard. Usually when an ambiguity is introduced, everybody within earshot hears the ambiguous sound bite in the same way.

'Obviously this also depends on individual physiology and on what you expect to hear. Different people can have different interpretations.

Frequency and pitch could also play a role in how the recording is interpreted, others suggest. Everybody watching the screen with their eyes and ears open hears it the same way.

Second, it's obviously saying "yanny" and anyone who disagrees is human garbage. By using similar sounds and leaving gaps in a low-quality recording, the brain fills in the rest of the details, which is allowing people to hear different things from the same recording. "At first I thought someone had intentionally made a weird file to mess with people, but apparently is just a bad automatic synthesis from vocabulary.com". We just don't yet know.

As of Wednesday morning, Feldman's tweet had almost 43,000 retweets and more than 96,000 likes.

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