When you use this multimedia exhibit…you’ll talk into a microphone while wearing a pair of headphones so you can hear your own voice being played back just after you speak.
You can choose to delay the feedback of hearing your own voice by a certain number of seconds, (or hear feedback of plain noise).
It becomes harder to keep talking as the sound of your voice becomes more and more delayed.
Have you ever used a faulty phone line and heard your own voice echo back through the line?
Or maybe you’ve phoned a local radio station competition and kept your radio playing in the background?
In both cases, you probably found it difficult to keep talking, or you kept stumbling over your words, right?!
This exhibit is a fun way to explore how your brain handles the sound of your own voice differently to everyday sounds.
Normally when you’re talking, you instantaneously hear your own voice.
This allows you to monitor the pitch and volume of your voice, as well as choose and articulate upcoming words.
When you hear your own voice being delayed, it slows down this mouth-to-ear feedback and confuses the language centres of your brain. You stumble over words or have to stop talking.
If you listen to the plain noise in this exhibit (similar to white noise), it’s much easier to continuing talking.
This is because plain noise doesn’t interfere with your mouth-to-ear language feedback loop.