Laurel or Yanny? What we heard from the experts

17 May, 2018, 14:44 | Author: Laverne Higgins
  • Cloe Feldman

Chico, Calif.- An audio clip is tearing the internet apart, with people fighting over whether they hear "laurel" or "yanny".

We were discussing this in the KHQ Newsroom too and it seems like everyone is split.

Emmy Rossum was one of the freaky few who could hear both: I hear #yanny so clearly. but if I listen closely I can hear a deep quiet ghost saying #laurel.so there. anyone else hear both?'

The New York Times reports that the recording went viral recently after an 18-year-old high school student in Georgia came across it while working on a school project, and it ultimately wound up on Reddit.

On The Late Show on Tuesday, Stephen Colbert suggested that the audio clip was "the song of summer", and danced to it playing on repeat.

As people took to social media to let the world know what they heard - and argue with those who hear differently - scientists were trying to figure out why this debate even exists. "It's not surprising that this is perceived in different ways".

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If you heard "Laurel", you are the victor and have earned bragging rights for this round of internet debate.

Pristine studio headphones will give you a Laurel, while a tinny 2015-era cell phone is probably going to give you Yanny. As for the dress, some people said it was white and gold while others saw blue and black. Some of them didn't hear Laurel or Yanny.

The brain and ear together makes a quite a toolset, selectively listening and/or blocking what we hear. Dr. Kevin Franck, the audiology director at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, told TIME that the audio clip in this instance forces the brain to decide quickly about what word it hears.

Experts are also divided on the cause of the phenomenon, however some say it depends on the pitch to which you are most accustomed.

Some speculated online that the age of the listener might determine what was heard, while others changed the pitch to alter results.

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