Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Green Chalk Can Taste Like Hippies

In a previous post I discussed the phenomena of pareidolia, which is when our brain interprets random stimuli as being meaningful or significant. This phenomena is most common with visual perception, but it also occurs with auditory perception. Here is a funny example:

The song in question is "O Fortuna" and you have probably heard it before in movies and other media. It is based on a Latin poem written in the 13th Century and then set to music by Carl Orff in the 1930's. What I find interesting about this example of pareidolia is the role that the captioning plays. I have heard this song numerous times, but I never really paid attention to the lyrics until I came across this video. With the captions in front of me it then becomes very hard to not hear silly things in the song. And this suggests how our brains construct reality for us, taking in information from all the senses and then processing it to create a unified, meaningful experience of the world around us. I will talk more about this in subsequent posts.

Here are some other good examples of audio pareidolia. If anyone has any other examples, or perhaps song lyrics that you have always misheard, I would love to hear about them in the comments.

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