Language Affects Sound Perception

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Science  15 Dec 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5499, pp. 2051-2052
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5499.2051b

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NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA-- At the 140th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America here last week, a psychologist demonstrated that an auditory illusion based on the tritone--two notes a half-octave apart played together--is perceived differently by listeners with different linguistic histories. And those perceptions might help psychologists understand how the brain rewires itself during childhood.