Sensory mix-ups…

I was standing on the pavement the other day having a smoke. Short while later, a woman passes me by, and as she came close, she covered her nose and mouth with her scarf – to protect herself from the cigarette smoke. But what I found funny was that on the road, not two feet away were cars, bikes and buses passing by fuming out gases that would have made a coal miner sick. She apparently had no issues with the vehicular smoke, because as she stepped away she put her hand down and carried on walking.

This happens to me as well. All I need to see is dust to feel asphyxiated. I start wheezing and feel as if a grizzly might have sat on my chest. Oh, but that’s not really abnormal, I can hear you say. Well, what if I told you that I felt that way even if I saw dust outside the window or in a movie on the TV screen? Would that be normal?

This is what is psychologists  is called “multiple senses interference”. Where one sense perception interferes with another. Think about the time you saw that delicious pastry in the cafe that made your mouth salivate and your tummy growl.

If that doesn’t amuse you, have a look at this video. This is called the McGurk Effect, where what you hear depends on what you see (or don’t see).

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Here’s a link from University of California, Riverside if you want to read more about the McGurk Effect and how to replicate it to fool your friends.

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One thought on “Sensory mix-ups…

  1. Guzel

    Oh that is BRILLIANT!!! I love it! Scary how programmed we are, isn’t it? And you’re right, as long as I cloesd my eyes, my ears interpreted the sound correctly but just the subtle movement of lips to teeth and my brain heard something completely different. Wonder what else I’m mis-interpreting?

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