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  1. #1
    Music / Hi-Fi enthusiast Les Adams's Avatar
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    And what about eyesight?

    Following on from my thread "Does ear shape make a difference" I ask - What about eyesight?

    I am a little short sighted and I find that if I remove my glasses when listening to audio, the blurred vision seems to affect my perception of sound!

    This can surely only be phsycological, or are the two senses connected in some way? I know that when listening seriously, I focus on a central point between the two loudspeakers (the red standby light on my TV) and if that image is blurred it somehow spoils my enjoyment. Of course shutting my eyes or listening in total darkness is fine, otherwise I have to wear my glasses!

    Has anyone else had this experience?
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  2. #2
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    My theory is that it's a distraction and as such breaks your concentration of listening to the music. Here's why I say that. I have a ceiling fan between my system and my listening spot. The fan is great, totally silent but for some reason when listening with it on the air hitting me distracts me. I know the sound is the same with the fan on or off but for some reason with it on I have a slight problem. The same way with the TV on. I don't think the TV being on does anything to the sound actually but for some reason when it's on it degrades my listening experience. I used to be able to watch a sporting event with the sound off and rock out but not really anymore. I think this is because the music was the background then but now I want to pay the most attention to the music but the TV in front of me makes it difficult. I think that's why we get the most enjoyment from music in darkness or eyes closed.

    Eyes closed can sometimes be a greater problem as conscienceness is soon lost.

  3. #3
    Rep points are my LIFE!! Groundbeef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    My theory is that it's a distraction and as such breaks your concentration of listening to the music.

    I agree with you on the distraction bit. I've but all but given up to just "listening" to music. Anytime I put some on, its like flies to honey, and I've got 3 girls whirling around singing to music they have no idea what the words are. To top it off, every song is like an invitation to try out the newest dance they are replicating for the weeks "Dancing with The Stars". Got on vintage Floyd? Might as well shoehorn in a Foxtrot! James Blunt? Sounds like a Waltz to me! Erasure? Thats got to be a Cha-Cha if there ever was one!

    It's like living in a never ending tryout session for American Idol. I know that someday I will look back and wish those days never ended, but at the present a little quiet would be appreciated!

  4. #4
    If you can't run-walk. Bernd's Avatar
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    Try this.....

    .....it might explain it.

    The Mcgurk Effect is an example of how we hear with our brains, not with our ears. It shows what we hear is a cumulative effect, the product of both ear and eye. This isnít a demonstration of how psychology can influence what we hear - but the cumulative effect in the brain is the same.

    Peace

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  5. #5
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    That's kind of interesting. Not completely unsurprising.
    Dunno why, but I always prefer listening to music with the lights dimmed down low or off altogether. I've convinced myself I hear better this way...maybe there's something to it?

  6. #6
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    My theory is that it's a distraction and as such breaks your concentration of listening to the music. Here's why I say that. I have a ceiling fan between my system and my listening spot. The fan is great, totally silent but for some reason when listening with it on the air hitting me distracts me. I know the sound is the same with the fan on or off but for some reason with it on I have a slight problem. The same way with the TV on. I don't think the TV being on does anything to the sound actually but for some reason when it's on it degrades my listening experience. I used to be able to watch a sporting event with the sound off and rock out but not really anymore. I think this is because the music was the background then but now I want to pay the most attention to the music but the TV in front of me makes it difficult. I think that's why we get the most enjoyment from music in darkness or eyes closed.

    Eyes closed can sometimes be a greater problem as conscienceness is soon lost.
    I agree. I like turning the lights down low to really enjoy the music. But like you, the zzzzz's are not far behind sometimes.

    I think that your fan could also be affecting your reflection points off the celing. That could be more of a distraction than just the breeze.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  7. #7
    Stereo value > car value texlle's Avatar
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    If I listen at night and turn the lights off, I capture a surreal effect from my listening since I am concentrating less on my presence in a room in front of a stereo, and moreso as a member of a live audience. Effectively, when we lose one sense, our other senses are operating at a hightened state to compensate for the loss. Thus when we cannot see, our predominant sense, in this case our hearing, tries to convey to us what our eyes cannot. Our brain would not know that we were in front of a stereo rather than an stage had it not just registered via our sight and feeling that we had just entered our stereo room. Les, though you had not completely lost your sense of sight by removing your glasses, it is not surprising that a loss in vision clarity affects your perception of sound.
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  8. #8
    Music / Hi-Fi enthusiast Les Adams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernd
    .....it might explain it.

    The Mcgurk Effect is an example of how we hear with our brains, not with our ears. It shows what we hear is a cumulative effect, the product of both ear and eye. This isn’t a demonstration of how psychology can influence what we hear - but the cumulative effect in the brain is the same.

    Peace

    Pardon? ..... he he.

    That would seem to answer the question nicely. I now have to go to Google and type in "Mcgurk effect" !

    Several minutes later..... Ok done that... It says:

    The McGurk effect is a perceptual phenomenon which demonstrates an interaction between hearing and vision in speech perception. It suggests that speech perception is multimodal, that is, that it involves information from more than one sensory modality. The McGurk effect is sometimes called the McGurk-MacDonald effect. It was first described in a paper by McGurk and MacDonald (1976).

    This effect may be experienced when a video of one phoneme's production is dubbed with a sound-recording of a different phoneme being spoken. Often, the perceived phoneme is a third, intermediate phoneme. For example, a visual /ga/ combined with a heard /ba/ is often heard as /da/. Further research has shown that it can exist throughout whole sentences. The effect is very robust; that is, knowledge about it seems to have little effect on one's perception of it. This is different from certain optical illusions, which break down once one 'sees through' them.
    Study into the McGurk effect is being used to produce more accurate speech recognition programs by making use of a video camera and lip reading software. It has also been examined in relation to witness testimony; Wareham & Wright's 2005 study showed that inconsistent visual information can change the perception of spoken utterances, suggesting that the McGurk effect may have many influences in everyday perception.

    I am not sure this answers the question completely as it seems to apply mainly to speech perception. But it does at least confirm that the senses are linked.
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  9. #9
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Les Adams
    Following on from my thread "Does ear shape make a difference" I ask - What about eyesight?

    I am a little short sighted and I find that if I remove my glasses when listening to audio, the blurred vision seems to affect my perception of sound!

    This can surely only be phsycological, or are the two senses connected in some way? I know that when listening seriously, I focus on a central point between the two loudspeakers (the red standby light on my TV) and if that image is blurred it somehow spoils my enjoyment. Of course shutting my eyes or listening in total darkness is fine, otherwise I have to wear my glasses!

    Has anyone else had this experience?

    Hey Les,

    Bobsticks trivia time: I am blind in one eye and have been for over a decade. Unlike most vision issues it can't be corrected by glasses or contacts. I suspect that when y'all use glasses on a regular basis it cancels out any developmental effects on the other senses. In my case, out of necessity, I feel that my aural accuity may have developed to an unspecified extent.I think that the blurring issue may only affect a negative change with those who engage in constant corrective action.
    I have no scientific proof to this, just the fact that I seem to be able to hear things in a variety of environments that others don't. This becomes especially unnerving to others in the work environment for obvious reasons and a true benefit for me especially in regards to "critical listening".

    Of course, the negative is that I have, from time to time, been the recipient of more than one creampuff left hook...

    Cheers

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    G... Michael, that's a great observation. I hadn't thought of that. We know that fans definitely mess up sound, you probably don't have to be right in front of it for it to have some effect.

  11. #11
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    G... Michael, that's a great observation. I hadn't thought of that. We know that fans definitely mess up sound, you probably don't have to be right in front of it for it to have some effect.
    Thanks. I guess it's true then. Sometimes, even a blind squirrel can find a nut.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  12. #12
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    I agree. I like turning the lights down low to really enjoy the music. But like you, the zzzzz's are not far behind sometimes.

    I think that your fan could also be affecting your reflection points off the celing. That could be more of a distraction than just the breeze.
    I agree too, listening in the dark or with only a soft light is very nice, it kinda feels like the music just is there instead of coming from the speakers...

    I think our brain associates the speakers with music, so if you see the speakers and you hear music, you know the music is coming from the speakers, this reduces the image we get with the sound...
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