Sometimes, what you hear can influence what you ‘see’.
Don’t believe it? Try this!
When you click the button below, we’re going to flash a rabbit on the screen while you hear a different number of beeping sounds for each test.
Count how many times you see the rabbit flash after each test. We’ll repeat the test a few times and show you how you compared to other test-takers at the end.
We assume that our eyes and brain see exactly what is around us, but this test shows how sound can influence what you think you’re seeing.
The rabbit only flashed three times each test, regardless of the number of beeps you heard.
Hearing tends to dominate when we’re trying to work out the timing of something. So, if you see a dot flash once on a screen, but hear two beeps at the same time, your visual system is influenced by your audio system, so your brain assumes the dot flickers twice, not once.
Vision tends to dominate when we’re locating the source of a sound. When you’re watching a lecturer on stage and hearing their voice being broadcast from surrounding speakers, you still believe the voice is coming from the lecturer’s mouth.
This sound-induced flash illusion shows how regions of your brain can combine sensory signals before the signals are processed further.