By Anupum Pant
There was a post I made in the past, about a popular email forward which mentioned a paragraph and it seemed like gibberish at first. But when you actually tried to read it, you were able to read is at a very normal pace. It was as if the totally mixed up spellings did not matter. Now, that wasn’t a very scientific way of going about claiming something – through an email forward. No one really knows where it came from. Certainly not from Cambridge. And right at the end of that article, the claims of that email were convincingly challenged.
What we see today is something similar, just that, it about listening, not about reading. Plus, this one, unlike the “spelling does not matter” claim, comes directly from a very reliable source – Jayatri Das, Chief bioscientist at Franklin Institute.
In an audio broadcast uploaded on soundcould, she demonstrates a very strong and fundamental trait of the human brain.
In the 50 second sound clip, she first plays a sound that is heavily distorted by a computer. You aren’t able to make any sense out of that sound. What happens next is amazing.
The sound plays again – the distorted R2D2-ish sound. Next, she plays the actual sentence which was distorted to make it sound like gibberish. The real sentence (which I won’t reveal in the text because it would ruin it for you if you read this first) is totally clear. Now, when she plays the gibberish again, somehow you are easily able to understand it!
It’s right here and you can experience it for yourself by listening (and participating) in the 50-second clip. It is a sound you literally “cannot un-hear”.
However, I had forgotten the real sentence after a couple of days, so the clip seemed to me like what it would to a fresh test subject when I listened to it again after a week. That means technically, you are able to un-hear it.
As this article from the Atlantic – where I first read about it – puts it. It is a lot like this visual experiment.
Did you happen to notice the following image that made fun of the FIFA Worldcup 2014’s logo? I’ve attached it below, if you haven’t seen it.
The image makes the logo look like a facepalm. Before this, you must have never thought of the logo to be a facepalm. But, after you see this, every time you see the actual logo, you’ll see a facepalm.