The Illusion of Speech

04/21/11
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Jamshed Bharucha

Jamshed Bharucha conducts research in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, focusing on the cognitive and neural basis of the perception of music. He is a past editor of the interdisciplinary journal Music Perception.

Your brain is an extremely complex pattern-recognition machine. Neuroscientist Jamshed Bharucha demonstrates to our audience how three indistinct synthesized sounds can be superimposed to create the illusion of human speech. Our brain is able make inferences from the most prominent energy peaks in a simple phrase and recognize the words being spoken even if most of the information is stripped away.