This is what is *really* going on with Laurel and Yanny – why your brain has to guess (without telling you)

LaurelYannystylized

Stylized version of the Laurel and Yanny situation: Diagram of spectrograms. "Laurel" has all 3 formants, but with most power in the low frequencies. "Yanny" has all 3 formants, but with most power in the high frequencies. "LaurelYanny" has both high and low power, but nothing in the middle. So you have to guess.

Stylized version of the Laurel and Yanny situation: Diagram of spectrograms. “Laurel” has all 3 formants, but with most power in the low frequencies. “Yanny” has all 3 formants, but with most power in the high frequencies. “LaurelYanny” has both high and low power, but nothing in the middle. So you have to guess.

Stylized version of the Laurel and Yanny situation: Diagram of spectrograms. “Laurel” has all 3 formants, but with most power in the low frequencies. “Yanny” has all 3 formants, but with most power in the high frequencies. “LaurelYanny” has both high and low power, but nothing in the middle. So you have to guess.

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