Sunday, December 12, 2004

Eyes vs ears

Language Log has an entry about the McGurk effect, which links to this video. It's startling to discover that closing your eyes can change what you hear. I keep going back to check that it really happens.

It does. Check it out.

4 comments:

emily said...

Was just reading today about the McGurk effect in Pinker's Language Instinct. You've probably read it already, but if you haven't, be sure to pick up a copy!

emily said...

Was just reading today about the McGurk effect in Pinker's Language Instinct. You've probably read it already, but if you haven't, be sure to pick up a copy!

Badaunt said...

After reading "The Language Instinct" you should also read "Educating Eve", by whassisname.

(late for work, will check later)

Badaunt said...

"The Language Instinct" is a wonderful book. I loved it. I then read "Educating Eve" by Geoffrey Sampson, and enjoyed it just as much (except the last chapter, which goes off the rails) - and got the other side of the argument.

One of the things that makes Sampson so entertaining to read is that he is so extremely irate. Pinker's ideas have become fantastically popular because Pinker is such a good writer, and so entertaining and inspiring, and it means that the layperson isn't hearing what else is going on in the non-nativist academic world - and nor do you get to know that the nativist ideas have been more or less put aside as irrelevant, or absorbed in other theories, everywhere except in the US. This annoys Sampson no end, so you get carried along on a wave of indignation - and drowned in the last chapter, but the rest is a must-read. He is very persuasive, and a good writer if you ignore that last chapter.

There's an interesting discussion of the issues here:

http://www.zompist.com/langorg.htm

You can also find a bunch of stuff on the Linguist List. Do a search on Pinker and Sampson, and wear a flame-proof suit!