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5. Integrating: Hacks 53–61 > 60. Pay Attention to Thrown Voices

Pay Attention to Thrown Voices

Sounds from the same spatial location are harder to separate, but not if you use vision to fool your brain into “placing” one of the sounds somewhere else.

Sense information is mixed together in the brain and sorted by location [Don’t Divide Attention Across Locations], and we use this organization in choosing what to pay attention to (and therefore tune into). If you’re listening to two different conversations simultaneously, it’s pretty easy if they’re taking place on either side of your head—you can voluntarily tune in to whichever one you want. But let’s say those conversations were occurring in the same place, on the radio: it’s suddenly much harder to make out just one.


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