View Full Version : NLD/NVLD/Visual Processing Problems? Does This Illusion Work?

09-23-11, 08:53 PM
I just came across this BBC story about how visual stimuli can override auditory stimuli, demonstrated by way of an illusion:

"What's He Saying?" (

I'm curious as to whether those of you out there who have a diagnosis of Nonverbal LD and/or visual processing problems still get "faked out" by the illusion.

See if you do, and report back! (And mention if you think your visual processing problems are milder or more serious.)

This is just for fun. Basically, I'm curious to know how powerful this phenomenon is, and this is a totally unscientific way to do it, but if it fails to work for *anyone* (who's not blind or visually impaired to the point of not being able to *see* facial movements), that would be really interesting!

09-25-11, 08:37 AM
I dunno. I do have an LD in visuo-motor integration.

I think I might know too much and be overthinking it, but I really *don't* hear much of a difference. (maybe Ba to "va" definitely not "fa).

I do see the differences in the mouth movements, but the sound is completely separate for me. Weird.

09-25-11, 08:43 AM
I don't have NVLD (that I am aware of) but I looked around at a few of these, and the illusion is minimal and fades quickly for me. I hear "ba" not "fa".

Another video I saw explained that people tend to hear intermediate sounds between what the lips are doing and the sounds one hears, so it seems like more people should hear va instead of fa.

09-25-11, 08:52 AM
I'm not diagnosed with any of that. What usually happens is that I watch people's mouths, a small amount of lip-reading to help with what I'm hearing, because otherwise outside noises distract me too much to single out just one voice.

The split screen was fascinating for me. If I looked at the bottom lip being caught by the top teeth - I heard the sound 'fa'. If it switched my view to the lips meeting - I heard the sound 'ba.' It stayed that way through the whole video for me.

09-25-11, 08:53 AM

I was taken in completely by the illusion.

I also tried closing my eyes during the "Far's" and immediately heard "Bah's"

Kunga Dorji
09-25-11, 08:55 AM
Likewise- I am not aware of having NVLD, (though my recent brain integration work has left me shocked at just far out of touch with reality my brain is!).

The illusion got me in 100%, but when I shut my eyes I heard "Ba" not "Far".

We all need to remember- none of us knows ANYthing of reality.
All we know is the hologram presented to us by our brains.

09-25-11, 09:02 AM
If you hear fa while looking and ba with your eyes closed, the illusion is working as intended.

09-25-11, 12:42 PM
I don't have NVLD that I know of. It got me, too. I heard "fa" when I watch the video. If I looked away or closed my eyes I heard "ba".

My husband watched it and never heard '"fa".

09-25-11, 02:15 PM
It worked on me although sometimes I could hear the plosive "b". It almost sounded like a plosive "fa."

09-25-11, 02:36 PM

I don't know about my processing difficulties...

09-25-11, 03:25 PM
Thanks for playing, y'all...

TygerSan and Fortune, that's interesting.

Nonverbal LD is one of those weird labels that is defined and applied extremely inconsistently, I've found -- in some cases, it's basically used interchangeably with Asperger's, in some cases, it just means non-phonological LD, etc. (This is frustrating to me.)

But in any case, what I was wondering was whether people who, for various non-sensory reasons (LDs or other processing-related issues), tend to strongly favor auditory and/or verbal modes of learning (which could certainly include some flavors of autistic-spectrum disorders), might be less susceptible to this illusion than people with stronger visual-processing (or facial-processing?) skills.

Based on this small handful of anecdotal responses, it seems possible. ;) Obviously, this was not a scientific study. But given that the original video implied that the phenomenon was universal,* and even the researcher himself still falls for it, despite knowing exactly how it works, some counterexamples would really be all that's needed to say "uh...not so fast!". And this could nicely illustrate something about the ways different people make sense of stimuli they encounter -- we don't all do it the same way. *Tygersan, thanks for pointing out that other explanations of the illusion suggest more nuanced outcomes, though!

The illusion gets me. However, I think my visual processing problems are relatively mild (and more visual memory-related, which might play into this type of phenomenon less because it's right in front of me).

- N.

09-12-12, 12:48 AM
I've just discovered that I DO have NVLD...


12-07-14, 02:25 AM
It tricked me.