As psycholinguist Suzy Styles explained on Twitter, spectrograms of the audio - visual representations of the present frequencies, and how strong they are - show there are several dark patches known as "formants".
Finally, there's no doubt: the word is not "yanny", it's "laurel", as evidenced by the fact that it accompanies the Vocabulary.com listing for "laurel".
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said, "I'd like to declare something that is just so obvious. When the low frequencies are more emphasized, people will hear "Laurel"," Crum said. "It's just as much of a fierce debate in my office as it is anywhere else", he said.
But the whole debate got him thinking about how we perceive what's real, and that led him to another conclusion.
'Yanni or Laurel? Don't ask me.
The viral trend is in line with debate previously over a now-famous blue dress, which split readers regarding which color the gown was presented as. So if a person hears lower frequencies better, "You would hear Laurel, because that has lower frequency sounds in it". As a result, "your brain makes all kinds of predictions' about what it thinks you're hearing, he said".
Basically, if you hear "yanny", you're hearing acoustic information from a higher frequency.
So why do half of us hear one thing and half of us another? Some of them didn't hear Laurel or Yanny. Whether you hear one or the other depends on the device that you are using as well as your own ears' sensitivity. He'll be like, "I heard Yanny" and [others] will be like, 'Clearly, it's Laurel, then.