Strange Science: Sensory Input

Ventriloquist dummyA good ventriloquist can make you believe that they are not the one doing the talking for their dummy. But the science behind why our brains believe that is a bit more complicated.

Scientists long believed that different parts of the brain processed the sensory input from each of our five senses. But a study at Duke University suggests that there are interactions between the sensory pathways prior to processing that ends up integrating the senses before their data are processed.

Jennifer Groh, one of the scientists on this project, explained the ventriloquist and dummy routine specifically: “The eyes see the lips moving and the ears hear the sound and the brain immediately jumps to the conclusion about the origin of the voice.” So it’s not just the skill of the ventriloquist; your brain is in on the “deception” as well!

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