Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Some of you, those who are aware of the work done by Professor Diana Deutsch, might have had a chuckle when seeing the title of this thread some others might have landed here just attracted by this enticing words.
This thread is about proposing an interpretation which can explain the animated discussions that we have on what we hear or not hear when we listen to sounds or music.
I have been talking about this in other threads but I wanted, please, to disconnect this discussion from the diatribe on sound production.
Some of us are very sure that they identify differences in sound which they attribute to materials, either the material the instrument or part of the instrument is made of, or the kind of paints, lacquers, coatings, other metal platings or the lack of it that the instrument has.
Of course we are also acquainted with the attribution of sound enhancements (.......always enhancements, who knows why there is never a sound subtraction effect) to various elements, including metal strap hooks and various other appendixes to be added to a saxophone.
All of these experienced directly for some by means of their hearing.
Of course we judge all of this with our sensorial apparatus which serves us well to function and operate in everyday life and that is the main instrument which we use to play music. So, we would be forgiven to think that, if these apparatuses work well to do all sorts of things and to play music at a very high level (for some) that they would be reliable instruments of analysis of the reality around us.
We hear, feel, see things related and unrelated to music and we are used to trust our senses to give us a true representation of the “ TRUE” world around us.
But is this what really happens? How much is an analysis and how much follows patterns and expectations?
One of the problems in a discussion like this is that one should be able to disconnect himself from the subjective experience of the world around oneself to be able to analyse objectively what he is subjectively experiencing. This is for most of us, impossible.
So the only way to observe and study perception is by means of studying large groups of people and comparing the way they all experience subjectively the world around themselves and then try to find the key (nice pun) to explain the What’s , the How’s and the Why’s of all of this.
Again, I am not proposing that the variation in perception among us or humans in general has anything to do with insanity. Even if and when I talk (or the people in the videos talk) of hallucinations they are not saying that if one experiences any of this that one is insane.
As you will see in the next video, with Professor Michael Kubovy and Composer Judith Shatin, our Brain has two systems, one which is designed to work within a pattern, this system 1 (implicit system) is an ancient part of the brain which serves the purpose to give us automatic reactions that were probably designed to keep us alive as a species. This system follows patterns of thought that are beyond our conscious control.
But the Brain has a secret weapon, System 2 (explicit system) which is the part of the brain that depends on what we have learned or experienced and that acts often to correct the signals imparted to our conscience by system 1.
Sometimes the interaction between these two systems give origin to what I can call audio sensorial clashes. You will also see that our brain is designed to follow expectation patters and these are as developed in language as they are in sound.
Watch this (and the other videos) !
Be patient, although some might find this riveting it requires some attention it is a 1 hour scientific video...... by the way not all of it is relevant to the purpose of a possible explanation to why we cannot always trust our senses to give us a precise analysis of the surrounding reality, nevertheless it makes a nice and interesting lecture. The first part by Professor Michael Kubovy is more relevant to the purpose of this thread than the second part.
Having seen this we cannot avoid this great lecture where Professor Diana Deutsch talks of how the brain processes and analyses sound and music . She discovered a number of interesting things about this and has placed a further link between speech and music and also on how easily the brain is tricked into thinking it hears something because it follows patterns.
Of course we can all have a laugh at this, why not, we can lighten up a little bit!
But after a laugh, maybe we like to watch something serious again with Eric Barnhill and Stephanie Chase..........perhaps not directly related but interesting nevertheless......as much as Brain structural patterns are concerned.