This video explains the weirdness of the McGurk effect, a perceptual illusion demonstrating that understanding speech is not just about what we hear, but also what we see. You can learn more about the McGurk effect at Yale's Haskins Laboratories dedicated to the science of the spoken and written wordl. (via Imaginary Foundation)
I really love the research that they're doing over at Yale's Haskins Laboratories: instead of studying speech perception and production in terms of faithfully replicating alllll of the sounds we make with our mouths, (like the minute clicks, pops, and hisses of consonants), the team is proposing that all we need to understand speech is to track and re-create a few select resonances of the vocal tract. I like to think of speech production in this context as a series of bottles with varying levels of water in them--the mouth is one bottle that changes pitch resonance when you move it to open it or close it, the nasal cavity another, and so on throughout the vocal tract. It ends up sounding like a bunch of complicated melodies that are then combined into a complex micro-tonal harmony, a.k.a., we're all better at perceiving and making music than we think we are!
The examples below break it down into isolated sine-wave patterns that you can combine yourself to build a sentence. What do you think? How easily can you hear words emerge?
Coming up, I'll be writing about a cool ethnographic example of a language that actually uses something like this in practice!
Interestingly enough, most primates which evolved in Africa, Europe and Asia and environs posses a similar wide range as ours, while those which evolved later in "The New World" of the Americas usually have the narrower range of human color deficiency. The technical distinction is between: "trichromats (human and old-world primates)" and "dichromats (new-world primates and the common human color deficiencies)." Anyway, I built a lot of amusing devices way back in grade-school that allowed me to tinker with mixing various colors, both with paints (subtractive mixing of: magenta, yellow and cyan) and with colored lights (additive mixing of: red, green and blue). I read everything on color I could get my hands on, and with many years of more or less scientific experimentation, I thought I knew a bit about the subject. But I was wrong.Experiments in Color Vision (Wendy Carlos)
Wendy's music (recommended: 'Tron' and 'A Clockwork Orange' soundtracks, Switched-On Bach, and The Well-Tempered Synthesizer)