Sunday, September 18, 2011

Amazing Illusion: The McGurk Effect




14 Comments:

At 9/18/2011 8:25 PM, Blogger Michael E. Marotta said...

A few years ago, I took a class in Conversational Arabic; and the instructor told this joke. (Arabic has no P. There cannot be a Palestinian.) So, at the American University at Beirut, the student get a C+. He goes to see the professor. The professor says that the grade is the result of his pronunciation, especially his Ps. The student asserts, "My Bs are berfect."

In modern Greek the old Beta is now the anglic V. The B-sound is written mu-beta to show the voiced B versus the Vee.

 
At 9/19/2011 12:06 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"I've been studying the "McGurk Effect" for 25 years now ..."

That has to be a government job.

 
At 9/19/2011 12:12 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

Speaking of illusions or effects, try this one.

 
At 9/19/2011 2:25 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Che: "That has to be a government job."

What's the matter, don't you think this is important research? :)

Actually there's a whole federal department of McGurk Effect studies. This is just the guy investigating the sounds "ba ba ba", and "va va va".

Who knows what tremendous benefits to humanity might result from this ongoing study.

After all, just this single line of research, ba ba ba, led to a hit record for the Regents in 1961, which was later covered by the Beach Boys, generating millions of dollars in economic stimulus.

Previously I didn't believe government could ever produce anything of value, but based on this research, I'm no longer so certain. It's great to be a taxpayer these days, ain't it?

 
At 9/19/2011 7:42 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> That has to be a government job.

Snark aside, it's a pretty significant thing when someone's brain overrides a clearly unambiguous signal just because of what it's seeing.

This IS important to fully understand, and I'm certain he's been doing something more in the process of researching it for the last 25 years than just standing in front of people going "Ba Ba Ba" like President Downgrade with a stuck teleprompter.

And he IS a professor at a Cali university. So yes, it IS a government job.

...Weren't you listening?
:D

 
At 9/19/2011 8:55 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: Actually there's a whole federal department of McGurk Effect studies.

Budget of Ministry of Silly Walks, £348,000,000
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqhlQfXUk7w

 
At 9/19/2011 4:41 PM, Blogger Marko said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9/19/2011 4:48 PM, Blogger Marko said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9/19/2011 4:50 PM, Blogger Marko said...

If it were truly important, the government would not need to research it.

That being said, wow that is a good illusion. It reminds me of the comet illusion - comets in the sky make no noise that observers can hear, they are too far away - yet repeatedly a significant percentage of people report hearing a "whooshing" sound when they see a comet. Their mind just fills in the appropriate sound effect.

We talked about stuff luck this all the time in philosophy of mind classes. Fascinating stuff, tells us more about how the mind works.

Kind of like when liberals watch Obama speaking, and what he says doesn't seem laughably absurd to them. Like that.

I would love to see a tape of Obama and Cheney in a split screen like in this illusion mouthing the words being read by a narrator . . . Ba ba ba

 
At 9/20/2011 9:02 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"If it were truly important, the government would not need to research it."

Bingo!

 
At 9/21/2011 7:32 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Marko: If it were truly important, the government would not need to research it.

So the private sector financed Columbus and the space program?

 
At 9/21/2011 2:40 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"So the private sector financed Columbus and the space program?"

The government funded Columbus project failed. The results hoped for didn't occur. His unintended discovery was purely accidental.

The space program, although very exciting, has cost a great deal without producing much of actual value to society.

If there was profit to be made, which means there is a benefit to society, private investors would rush to finance researchers in front of cameras going "ba ba ba".

 
At 9/21/2011 5:54 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: The government funded Columbus project failed. The results hoped for didn't occur. His unintended discovery was purely accidental.

It was highly speculative, but very profitable for Spain. Secondary benefits are still benefits. If you prefer, use Vasco da Gama as an example.

Ron H: The space program, although very exciting, has cost a great deal without producing much of actual value to society.

There were a number of important technological spin offs from the space program. And there were political benefits as well.

Ron H: If there was profit to be made, which means there is a benefit to society, private investors would rush to finance researchers in front of cameras going "ba ba ba".

Unfortunately, most private investors don't have the time horizon for research that may require a concerted effort over many years. The U.S. government spends more on basic research than other countries, and consequently, the U.S. is the leader in science and technology.

 
At 9/22/2011 9:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"It was highly speculative, but very profitable for Spain. Secondary benefits are still benefits. If you prefer, use Vasco da Gama as an example."

Vasco da Gama? LOL If you consider a king chartering expeditions intended to enrich himself, and reduce his dependence on the nobility to be a good example of beneficial government research, then we're not sure how to respond.

Both da Gama and Columbus were acting to enrich heads of state. when you say very profitable for Spain, you mean very profitable for the Spanish monarchy. What the people got out of it was rampant inflation.

That's *monetary* inflation, in case you're unsure, which led, as inevitably as night follows day, to *price* inflation.

If you wish to consider unintended and coincidental benefits, then another good example would be our running to catch a bus, tripping and falling on our faces, but ending up with a $1 bill directly beneath our left eyes to mean the initial effort was successful.

"There were a number of important technological spin offs from the space program. And there were political benefits as well. "

Yes, I'm sure there were, but the one that stands out is the orange flavored drink "Tang".

Perhaps you could remind us of some others. Please don't include computers or internet, or silly suggestions like that, as those things were happening, would have happened, and did happen, with or without the space program.

"Unfortunately, most private investors don't have the time horizon for research that may require a concerted effort over many years."

This assumes that something worthwhile can be expected from concerted efforts by government researchers over many years. It's not clear what the goal of the "ba ba ba" research is, or what value to society is expected to result, but as long as funding continues, so will the research.

While politicians typically have a time horizon that lasts until the next election, the programs they initiate can last forever.

While it is generally true that private investors prefer a fairly quick return on their investment there are notable exceptions. Pharmaceutical companies often spend over $1bn and 10 years developing a useful drug, in return for patent protection.

"The U.S. government spends more on basic research than other countries, and consequently, the U.S. is the leader in science and technology."

Can you actually connect amount of government research spending to leadership in science and technology, whatever that actually means, or is this a case of correlation equals causation?

 

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