Men Are From Laurel, Women Are From Yanny (Statistically Speaking)

I discovered a sex difference in Laurel/Yanny perception! Let’s talk about it.
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Hey musical scientists! I decided to try a talking video. This Laurel/Yanny thing is pretty up my alley as a singer and music producer; I’m used to thinking about sound manipulation and harmonics. But the real reason I’m making this video is that I think I can contribute to the scientific conversation about the phenomenon! I discovered by polling my Twitter following that there’s a weak (ϕ = 0.14) but SIGNIFICANTLY (p = 0.0033) correlation between Laurel/Yanny perception and sex, with men skewing 60/40 for Laurel while women go 55/45 for Yanny. Meanwhle, I found NO correlation between age and perception, even though many videos and articles have been proposing one. Here are the links to the original polls.

Sex: https://twitter.com/acapellascience/status/996798737421930496
Age: https://twitter.com/acapellascience/status/996822387177021440

I think what this shows is that the phenomenon has less to do with which frequencies you can HEAR, and more about perceptual post-processing. I propose that this is a noise-compensation phenomenon: Those who hear Yanny treat the upper harmonics (3-6 kHz) as part of the harmonic character of speech, while people who hear Laurel discard it as noise. Women’s higher natural formants on vowel sounds (even when the fundamental is the same) may result in a higher cut-off threshold for speech frequencies than men, skewing women towards Yanny and men towards Laurel.

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Sources:
Vocabulary.com page: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/laurel
Frequency filtering video by Dylan Bennett: https://twitter.com/MBoffin/status/996562598815416321
ASAPScience’s video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDiXQl7grPQ
New York Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/16/upshot/audio-clip-yanny-laurel-debate.html
Voice, Speech, and Gender: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00764811/document

Audio clips from Freesound.org:
https://freesound.org/people/stomachache/sounds/192529/
https://freesound.org/people/Percy%20Duke/sounds/28024/
https://freesound.org/people/inchadney/sounds/173154/
https://freesound.org/people/Yuval/sounds/210592/
https://freesound.org/people/InspectorJ/sounds/403180/

Background music by me: https://soundcloud.com/timblaismusic/sets/n-i-n-t-e-n-d-o-r-revived

Do You Hear “Yanny” or “Laurel”? (SOLVED with SCIENCE)

Yanny vs. Laurel audio illusion solved! PHEW FINALLY!
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Created by: Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown
Written by: Rachel Salt, Greg Brown & Mitch Moffit
Illustrated by: Max Simmons
Edited by: Sel Ghebrehiwot

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References/Further Reading:
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/05/dont-rest-on-your-laurels/560483/ A Linguist Explains Why ‘Laurel’ Sounds Like ‘Yanny’

https://www.popsci.com/yanny-laurel-scientific-evidence Yanny vs. Laurel is ‘The Dress of 2018’—but these sound experts think they can end the debate right now

https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/15/17358136/yanny-laurel-the-dress-audio-illusion-frequency-sound-perception Yanny or Laurel? The science behind the audio version of The Dress

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/15/health/yanny-laurel-audio-social-media-trnd/index.html Laurel or Yanny? What science has to say

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/may/16/yanny-or-laurel-sound-illusion-sets-off-ear-splitting-argumentsYanny or Laurel: why do some people hear a different word?

https://www.vox.com/2018/5/15/17357684/yanny-or-laurel-audio “Yanny” or “Laurel”: the audio clip that’s tearing the internet apart

Yanny Laurel vote audio illusion the dress Do you hear Yanny or Laurel Cloe Feldman What Do You Hear?!