The McGurk Effect - What you see is what you hear - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 07-14-2013, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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The McGurk effect is a perceptual phenomenon that demonstrates an interaction between hearing and vision in speech perception.

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post #2 of 22 Old 07-14-2013, 08:39 AM
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Very interesting, our brains are amazingly complex and obviously do a lot of processing on what we see. Also the brain makes sure that what is seen matches up with what the body is experiencing physically which is why many of the early "virtual reality" simulators which weren't accurate made people sick. I don't remember the exact numbers, but what we see is a LOT more data / information than what we hear so it makes sense that visual processing can override hearing.
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post #3 of 22 Old 07-14-2013, 01:29 PM
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Now replace "Ba" and "Fa" with this photo, and you can see why people waste their money on overpriced wires. biggrin.gif

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post #4 of 22 Old 07-14-2013, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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post #5 of 22 Old 07-14-2013, 07:56 PM
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Blind testing works. Close your eyes and you only hear BA..

Why is it so hard for folks to understand or accept that removing visual cues from an audio test situation removes bias? With the visual input your brain processes the information differently and skews your perception.
That skewing could be in both positive or negative direction depending on previous received information by other tests or received opinions about the item under test, price point, visual attractiveness etc..
Without bias you can evaluate if there are real audible differences and not those skewed by other input.
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post #6 of 22 Old 07-14-2013, 11:37 PM - Thread Starter
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You're missing the point here.
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post #7 of 22 Old 07-14-2013, 11:50 PM
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You're missing the point here.

Which is?
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post #8 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 12:27 AM
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I figured the point being made was exactly what kraut laid out. Maybe the McGurk effect does indeed relate to audiophiles who visually see their $20,000 cd transports and think they're hearing a noticeable difference in clarity and imaging.

I'm curious as to why Ethan Winer's image of the cable has columns suspending it.
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post #9 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 12:52 AM
 
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I think those are called "cable elevators".
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post #10 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbfleming View Post

You're missing the point here.
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Originally Posted by kraut View Post

Which is?

Read my lips.
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post #11 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandon_k_w View Post

I'm curious as to why Ethan Winer's image of the cable has columns suspending it.

Cable? I thought that was a fire hose.
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post #12 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 09:11 AM
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Read my lips.

I think you are the one not getting it. But no wonder.....Location: Calgary, Alberta...there was a stampede on...
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post #13 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandon_k_w View Post

IMaybe the McGurk effect does indeed relate to audiophiles who visually see their $20,000 cd transports and think they're hearing a noticeable difference in clarity and imaging.

Yes, though for audiophiles it's more a matter of knowing what they're hearing rather than a visual stimulus as with the McGurk effect. In other words, if you merely tell them that you replaced a $5 wire with one costing $500, they'll hear an improvement.

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post #14 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 01:49 PM
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than a visual stimulus as with the McGurk effect

I doubt that. Have a Quad 405/33 combo vs. a McIntosh combo in a sighted evaluation - I bet the McIntosh will subjectively sound better.
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post #15 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

Yes, though for audiophiles it's more a matter of knowing what they're hearing rather than a visual stimulus as with the McGurk effect. In other words, if you merely tell them that you replaced a $5 wire with one costing $500, they'll hear an improvement.

Indeed, though I always laugh whenever some boutique audiophile product is shown as it usually needs to be surrounded by soft warm ambient lighting and wood grain furniture and such to set the atmosphere and mindset.

i.e...

http://www.ultrafi.biz/aubisque-usb-filter.html

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue68/sablon.htm

And why so cheap with only a $500 cable?

A hifi shop in my area has some $51,200. speaker cables. ($40,000. USD)

http://www.listeningpost.co.nz/Brands/Nordost/Nordost-__I.27183__C.27311

Guess those $500 and $10,000 speaker cables are just cheap crap then...??? WTF, a $10,000 cable still doesn't offer the best sound possible and can be bettered by the same manufacturer...!?!?!

Of course for your typical audiophile that has been conditioned to think that if it costs more then it must be better... it all makes perfect sense.

..
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post #16 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 02:24 PM
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Have a Quad 405/33 combo vs. a McIntosh combo in a sighted evaluation - I bet the McIntosh will subjectively sound better.
In a sighted comparison, anything can happen. And if it's not level-matched...

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #17 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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The phenomenon shows the perception of sound can change without any measurable difference in the signal. Our ears are not the precise instruments that many claim them to be.
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post #18 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 03:12 PM
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Our ears are not the precise instruments that many claim them to be.
And even worse, they're connected to this random noise machine we call a brain.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #19 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mbfleming View Post

The phenomenon shows the perception of sound can change without any measurable difference in the signal. Our ears are not the precise instruments that many claim them to be.

Yes and no. What we perceive as sound is also influenced by our mind and vision all working together. The mind interpreting the signal from our ears is a big part of it. The mind will also take shortcuts where it can in its interpretation. It's all part of an underlying law of nature to take the easiest route with least resistance. (why spend more energy using more brainpower analysing things if there is a shortcut path available)

For example our deep rooted idea that if it costs more then it is probably better. If we are listening to two sets of cables and we know one set costs a lot more than the other, then our mind will take that subconscious shortcut (based on the fact it costs more so must be better) and convince our conscious mind that it indeed does sound better... even if we think we are trying to be impartial and neutral. You can't help it and is simply a process of our minds taking shortcuts when it can in our decision making process in order to help us from becoming overloaded from our sensory input from the world around us.

The scientific community and marketing people understand this phenomenon full well. It's why marketing people spend so much money on priming, pre conditioning, association. Those are all tools for establishing those subconscious shortcuts.
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post #20 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 04:08 PM
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It's all part of an underlying law of nature to take the easiest route with least resistance.
It's more that our brains have evolved to synthesize information from multiple senses, rather than relying on individual senses in isolation.

If your ears hear what might be a predator, but your eyes don't see one, you want your brain to think, "Run!" The primates who didn't run were less likely to pass their genes onto us.

Similarly, if your ears detect no difference between two cables but your eyes (or the guy at the audio store) tell you they 're different, your brain will conclude that they are different. And drawing that conclusion appears to affect one's conscious judgment about the sound.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #21 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

It's more that our brains have evolved to synthesize information from multiple senses, rather than relying on individual senses in isolation.

The McGurk effect is a good example of the shortcut phenomenon. Of course what you say is also true as well.
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post #22 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 05:40 PM
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On a different note - what audio processing a trained brain can achieve:

http://www.richarddawkins.net/foundation_articles/2013/7/14/-seeing-with-the-ears-can-bats-hear-in-colour#
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Every surface has its own acoustic signature – I can recognise a tree, for example, because the trunk produces a different echo from the leaves. The hard wood reflects the sound, whereas the leaves reflect and refract, too, scattering the sound waves. Everything around me becomes identifiable with a click. It provides me with a 3D image in my mind with depth, character and richness; it brings light into darkness. I can often find my way out of an auditorium quicker than a sighted person because I can identify the exit. If I'm in a noisy place such as a concert, I don't feel anxious – I just increase the volume and my click cuts through the noise. I'm very familiar with its sound and don't feel at all self-conscious if other people hear me.
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