Seeing is not hearing

The McGurk Effect
[Via Boing Boing]

This video demonstrates how looking at someone’s mouth movements affects the way we hear what they are saying. The man in the video is saying “bah, bah, bah,” but when the same audio recording is played while he mouths out “fah, fah, fah,” it sounds like he is saying “fah, fah, fah.”


Brilliant demonstration of something I have read about. The McGurk effect works even when you know what is going on. Close your eyes and you hear “bah, bah, bah” open them and you ‘hear’ :faa, faa, faa”

Our eyes override what we hear.

This explains something else I have read. Good presentations do not simply read off what is on the slide. Rote reading what people can already see does not result in an effective transfer of information. This is because both seeing and hearing the same thing results in conflicting modalities examining the same information Our hearing and sight fight for the correct interpretation and sight wins.

People learn much better when what they hear is differently phrased than what is read. This is because there is no conflict and each sense can use its own approach to help us retain the information. Instead of conflict there is enhancement.