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    • I came across this video watching Inside the NBA of all things. It's been trending as of late, starting on Tik Tok. They were debating which words they heard and if the test worked for them. That is, if you only focus on “Green Needle”, you are supposed to hear “Green Needle”. If you focus on “Brainstorm,” you are supposed to hear “Brainstorm.” The test worked for me. Does it work for you? If so, anyone have an idea of how this works? Any sound engineers on Cake? 

    • I was able to hear both "Green Needle" and "Brainstorm", whichever I concentrated on.

      Then I thought about testing it with both "Greenstorm" and "Brain Needle". I was able to consistently hear the former, but never the latter.

      Then I opened the Time Magazine article with its link to the original Tik Tok, and suddenly wasn't able to hear anything but "Brainstorm" - until I paused repeating the clip for some minutes, which probably allowed my brain to reset. ;)

      The thing is, our brains are very imperfect, messy little machines. We see images in clouds, or a white triangle pointing down in an image like this (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/55/Kanizsa_triangle.svg) not because they are really there, but because our brains need to cope with incomplete information all the time and thus have become good at completing anything into a "full picture", even if there isn't one in the first place.

      Similar to optical illusions, the reason for auditory illusions is the fact that any input signal is already heavily interpreted before we even start to reason about it consciously. (By the way, that's one of the reasons why about 90% of an uncompressed song can just be thrown out, leading to comparably small MP3 file sizes.)

      I guess this specific illusion works because the start of both phrases ("Green", "Brain") is very similar, so if there's a noisy sound like "[incomprehensible] [r] [something between ee and ai] [n]", your brain is able to understand either depending on context. By concentrating one one or another word, you're actually forcing that context, so that your biased brain just seeks confirmation and ignores the rest as noise.

    • So, I've now read all of the explanations, etc. and where the sound is originally from.

      It's from a Ben 10 toy and apparently it is according to the toy manufacturers saying 'Brainstorm'

      I have tried and tried and tried again and I just can't hear it. I get Green Needle or if I focus on it I can hear Brain Needle, but there is nothing in there at all that I can hear as the word Storm.

      So, so strange!

    • This aural effect also has other influencers as to how we perceive it. The first one is the McGutk effect, if you can see the lips making the sound your brain will get more information and add that to the equation. It is one of the reasons people put on their glasses to hear better and people have trouble understanding people who wear masks.

      The other is the dialect and language the listener is used to hearing. There are different tonal qualities that people get used to listening to that influences how one perceives the sound. A simple example is a US Southern drawl compared to a New Yawk Talkr.

      It is a problem people have been sending years studying. As the global economy has changed, there are different audio products for different regions to meet their specific speech patterns. The biggest one that is driving dialectical hearing is voice control. The next biggest is voice responses. The fact that UK Englisb abd American Englisb have different vocalizations on most electronics illustrates that property pretty easily.

    • An interesting aspect of this is if you close your eyes and don't look at the words whatever word you're currently thinking of will be the word you hear.