For the past few days, there has been a viral audio track that has been making waves around the Internet. If you've spent any amount of time on Facebook or Twitter, you've probably heard the "Yanny or Laurel" audio track. The audio is just a one-word recording, but with a deep meaning - some people could only hear Yanny, while others could only hear Laurel. Even scientists had to jump on in the issue in order to solve the question of why different people hear a different word in the same audio recording.
Yanny or Laurel?
There is an ongoing debate in online communities, regarding a viral one-word audio recording. The recording was originally posted on Twitter and Reddit by an unknown source. The audio quickly gained popularity, as many people got divided opinions regarding whether they heard the word "Yanny," or "Laurel." The interesting part in all of this was that the names, although similar sounding, are not that close to each other - meaning it was strange why one person would hear Yanny and another would hear Laurel.
The issue became so large, that even scientists joined in on the debate. Some of them even used audio analysis software, to try to find out why some people were more prone to hearing Laurel, while others could only hear the other word in the audio recording. The good news is that there are a few leading theories which try to explain this new global, online phenomenon.
The Brain is Responsible for the Differences in Hearing
What research has shown us, is that although the ears are important when it comes to hearing the sound, the brain is the organ that actually tries to make sense of what the ears are hearing. It appears that some individuals are more predisposed towards hearing Yanny, while others could only hear Laurel. The difference is whether the brain is more geared towards noticing lower sound frequencies, or higher ones.
The people that are more prone towards noticing deeper sounds could only hear the word, Laurel, while people that are more prone towards hearing higher frequencies sounds, could only hear Yanny. This is why researchers also noticed that younger people could hear Yanny more often (as their ears are healthier), while older people could only hear Laurel. The reason for this is that the hearing of higher pitched sounds are the first to go as the ears start to age.
People Hear Different Frequencies
According to Dr. Andrew Fishman, the brain is the most important part of our bodies that help us interpret what we hear. He said, "While our ears allow us to hear, our brains tell us what we hear, or rather, what we interpret we hear. The sound is not just happening in the ear, but also somewhere in your brain." This is why different people hear different sounds in the viral audio recording.
Another interesting conclusion from this whole news story is that people also probably differently hear the same music track, which is why some people may hate or love different songs. While some people might hear a lot of deep bass in some audio track, others may only hear high pitched noise, which is why they could go on to develop different audio tastes.