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Listening and Comprehension

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Mar. 31st, 2003 | 06:18 am
mood: determineddetermined
music: Super Bon Bon

Here's another component in my search to understand my experience of the world.

I used to think my hearing was bad, but I've discovered it's more subtle than that.

The first sentence spoken by someone I'm not looking at is perceived as a meaningless string of syllables. It's right there in my short term memory, the series of sounds you just made, and sometimes, after I've realized you were speaking to me and I've looked in your direction, the sounds fall into words, the sentence you spoke. But more often, the string of syllables remains just that, or resolves into a string of nonsense words/phrases that sound like (or rhyme with) what you said.

I can even repeat it back to you, and it'll sound like a random string of syllables, or nonsense words/phrases, to you, too. Many times the result of the misparsing is almost art, and usually more interesting than what was actually said. :) We used to call this Immelitus, after a friend whose last name was Immel.

On the other hand, if I'm looking at you before you begin speaking, I'll understand you just fine. Sometimes I instruct friends or cow orkers to get my attention before they try to ask me something so I don't seem to be deliberately ignoring them.

Triple Entendre

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Comments {2}


language interpretation

from: elphie
date: Mar. 31st, 2003 08:07 am (UTC)

My friend Gigi who is ADHD has a very similar experience and says it is part of the way signals
can get crossed for him. It is part of the tendency to hyperfocus so that people talking to
you that you are not directly focusing on does not get interpreted properly.

Like there are two seperate verbal channels in the brain one that comprehends language and
breaks the verbal stream into phonemes for comprehension, and one that just gives you the raw
sound stream which is mostly used for music and non-verbal sounds. When you hear languages you
don't speak it tends to get interpreted as a raw stream which is why it sounds like they are
speaking really quickly and a bit more sing-songy then english voices do.

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Triple Entendre

Re: language interpretation

from: triple_entendre
date: Apr. 1st, 2003 11:50 pm (UTC)

I hadn't thought about the mechanisms behind it actually making some kind of sense. That's neat.

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