Audio illusions are rarer by far than optical illusions. The new, Laurel vs. Yanni illusion is maddening in its apparent impishness. I hear Laurel and couldn’t hear Yanni without some work.
I’ve broke out the low end:
… from the high end:
Even in the latter case, I can only begin to, sort of, hear Yanni. Yet a good number of people do hear it. Of my unscientific sample, people who are involved in music or younger, tend to hear Yanni more — though overall it seems like most people hear Laurel. I’d love to know what factors are at play.
Whatever the cause for disparate perceptions, the illusion is a good reminder of how honest perceptions can differ. A lot has been made of the arguments this illusion has caused, but perhaps in these divided times, we can take away a lesson in understanding different points of view.