‘The Eye Hears, The Ear Sees’ – Listening Symposium

A ‘script’ as PDF and included demonstration videos from my presentation at the Listening symposium, PARCNorthWest, International Anthony Burgess Foundation, UK on 17th November 2011.

Watch it on Vimeo.

 Download the paper as PDF from my public WebDisk or read on via Scribd…

My recreation of the McGurk (& MacDonald) Effect (1976) where viewing an incongruently articulating face categorically alters the auditory speech percept. In non neuroscience jargon, this is a short film of me enunciating different phonemes, but in some cases I’ve edited the film so that you are hearing and seeing two different phonemes coincidentally. You’ll experience the visual sense dominating and changing what you hear. The robustness of this effect, i.e. the results persist even when you’re aware of the method, means that I can tell you this before you see it and it won’t make any difference.

My recreation of the experiment by Shams et al (2002). You’ll view a series of nine short audiovisualisations in which you’ll see from one to three quick successive visual flashes on the screen and simultaneously hear from one to three audio beeps. You have to note ONLY how many flashes you see in each instance of the series.

Shams et al. reported on this new multi-sensory illusion in a paper, Visual illusion induced by sound, in 2002. A single flash is perceived as two when two rapid tone beeps are presented concurrently. This perceptual fission of a single flash due to multiple beeps is not matched by a perceptual fusion of multiple flashes due to a single beep. Shams et al. concluded that the second beep caused subjects to perceive an illusory flash. What’s interesting about this experiment is that audition dominates vision, which is rare – more often, as in the McGurk effect, our primary sense, vision, dominates audition.