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Brains ‘listen’ to speech through skin: researchers November 28, 2009

Posted by Dreamhealer in Research.

Our brains can be fooled into perceiving one speech sound as a completely different one if the sound is accompanied by an inaudible puff of air, Canadian researchers have found.

The research published this week in Nature suggests that our perception of language isn’t made up of only sound and visual data, but tactile information such as airflow as well.

Bryan Gick and Donald Derrick at the University of British Columbia created an experiment where people were made to listen to recorded sounds while puffs of air were simultaneously applied to their hands or necks.

When the inaudible puff of air was applied, the subjects perceived speech sounds that don’t normally come with a puff of air in English speech — “ba” and “da” — as different sounds that do — “pa” and “ta.”  Read More…


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