Which is it? Yanny, or Laurel?
“The first time it sounded like Yanny. Now i’m a little weirded out. Now all I hear is Laurel,” said one woman we spoke with.
According to experts— it’s both.
“When we process sound, we are really actually hearing with the brain. Our ears are just the way in,” said Dr. Jason Schmitt with A&E Audiology in East Hempfield Township, Lancaster County,
He says the clip that is causing an internet war actually has components of both words.
“It’s not actually normal human speech. It’s been altered. There are two layers of the signal that are being played at the same time. Both Laurel and Yanny are being played at the same time overlayed upon one another,” said Dr. Schmitt.
Dr. Schmitt says Yanny is played at a higher pitch, and Laurel is a lower pitch, so you those who have better hearing at a higher frequency will likely hear Yanny, and vice versa.
So we put it to the test originally. At first, reporter Ashley Paul could only hear Yanny.
But the doctors gave her a hearing aid programmed to amplify lower frequencies, and that’s when she had that aha moment.
“The first few times it was Yanny, Yanny, Yanny, then I could hear Yan-al, Yan-al, and now I’m hearing Laurel, Laurel, Laurel,” said Paul.
Dr. Schmitt does add, though, that is isn’t all about frequency, but also about interpretation.
“If you change the amount of times you listen to it, that may be a consideration. You know, your brain starts to want to listen, want to perceive those subtle cues that it wasn’t paying attention to before.”