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Edited by Richard Walker, Friday, 27 Nov 2020, 21:52
In this experiment you will hear snippets of garbled speech that are almost impossible to understand. After each snippet has played you will hear the undistorted version, and immediately hear the garbled version a second time. Amazingly, you can now understand what you couldn't make out at all just a few seconds ago!

Click on the link below to start the experiment.

Try the garbled speech experiment yourself

Researchers have found that when this experiment is carried out with subjects who have electrode on the suface of their brains, the garbled speech evokes little electrical activity the first time round, but after the subject has been told what the words are the garbled speech produces a similar pattern to the clear speech. They have now "tuned in" and can hear what they couldn't before. More about this fascinating effect can be found here.
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