Audiologists Weigh In on Yanny Vs. Laurel Debate

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A new viral audio clip sparks a big debate . Registered Nurse Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on May 16, 2018. (WPVI)

Just like the great dress debate, a new viral audio clip is sparking conversation with everyone asking do you hear Yanny or Laurel?

Even some doctors of audiology at Main Line Health are split.

So why do we hear it differently? There are a few theories.

First, audiologist Jessica Bell said " You know, you don't just hear with your ears, you hear with your brain."

And using what's called a speech banana, the audiologists say both sounds are very similar in frequency and volume. Audiologist Catherine Marino said because they're grouped so close together, it's up to the brain to decide which one to hear.

Another theory is if it's computer generated, the sound can trick you. Marino said, "I think maybe it creates something our brains aren't used to and so we interpret it differently."

And there's also the issue of quality. A high-end speaker like ones in our 6abc editing rooms have a broader range of frequencies then say a cell phone so you may hear it differently on different devices.

They also say people may hear slightly different frequencies or pitches which would explain why two people hear two different words playing on the same device.
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