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5. Integrating: Hacks 53–61 > 59. Hear with Your Eyes: The McGurk Effect

Hear with Your Eyes: The McGurk Effect

Listen with your eyes closed and you’ll hear one sound; listen and watch the speaker at the same time and you’ll hear another.

If there were ever a way of showing that your senses combine to completely change your ultimate experience, it’s the McGurk Effect. This classic illusion, invented by Harry McGurk (and originally published in 1976 1 ), makes you hear different sounds being spoken depending on whether or not you can see the speaker’s lips. Knowing what’s going to happen doesn’t help: the effect just isn’t as strong.

In Action

Watch Arnt Maasø’s McGurk Effect video ( http://www.media.uio.no/personer/arntm/McGurk_english.html ; QuickTime with sound). You can see a freeze frame of the video in Figure 5-3.


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