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  • Congratulations, you're alive. That's a big deal.

  • It means that every one of your ancestors successfully avoided death, at least for a while.

  • It also means that you come from a very long line of people who are good at being scared.

  • Lend me your ears, today we offer a tale of sound, science and fear. Welcome to the Sci-Fright Zone.

  • [music playing]

  • In my video with "What's That Buzz?" we saw how easy it was to take something that's not normally that scary

  • and add a bit of fear using a few sound tricks.

  • Fans of scary movies know that there's primarily two ways that movies use sound to scare you.

  • The old jump out from behind a corner trick

  • or using sound to set a more generally frightful mood.

  • Sound is nothing but vibrations, what is it about our biology

  • that makes only some of them scary?

  • Now when I say "scary" I'm not talking about that creepy kind of scary

  • that grabs you, slowly

  • with its cold, ethereal hands.

  • [scary ghost voice]

  • That slow fear only happens when your higher

  • brain functions take over. The kind of fear I'm talking

  • about is instant fear. The fear that's built in

  • to your very biology.

  • Why do we get scared in the first place? Simple.

  • So you can live long enough to reproduce.

  • If you want to avoid being a lion's dinner,

  • you've got to think fast.

  • luckily sound moves faster than sight.

  • Now, light waves move about a million times faster than sound waves,

  • But a lot of your brain gets in the way first.

  • Think about what it takes to see something.

  • First light has to activate several kinds of

  • photoreceptor cells in your retina.

  • Then a signal travels down your optic nerve,

  • It stops in the center of your brain and gets sorted,

  • then it goes back here to your visual cortex

  • to be decoded, with the edges and the shapes,

  • Then it goes off elsewhere in your brain so you can

  • finally remember that the shape you're looking at is a lion.

  • All in all, that process could take up to

  • half a second. I don't know about you,

  • but when I'm staring down a hungry lion,

  • that's half a second too long.

  • This is why we say "we live in the past"

  • Like the train station in Hell, when it comes to what we see

  • we are forever delayed.

  • Whether it's optical illusions

  • or even just paying attention,

  • it's the very complexity of our visual system

  • that makes it so easy to fool.

  • But hearing operates on a completely different wavelength.

  • I love puns.

  • While you can shut off your vision pretty easily,

  • your sense of hearing is never really off.

  • Even when you're asleep.

  • You're just not conscious of everything that you're hearing.

  • Which is good, because otherwise

  • you would go completely NUTS.

  • In his book "The Universal Sense", Seth Horowitz

  • explains that hearing is a mechanical

  • rather than chemical sense. To demonstrate,

  • let's say I sneak up behind you.

  • [music playing]

  • [BANG!]

  • Between your inner ear and your muscles tensing

  • that signal only has to travel through 5 nerves.

  • The whole process is over before the rest of your brain

  • is even aware what happened.

  • You can't fight it, this is hard-wired

  • into your brain's anatomy.

  • This so-called "startle reflex" is probably

  • the fastest thought that you can have.

  • Of course startling us isn't the only way

  • that sound can make us feel things

  • beyond our conscious control.

  • Here's a famous example:

  • [dinosaur roar]

  • Now, we have no idea what a T. rex actually sounded like,

  • but for "Jurassic Park" they blended the sound of

  • a baby elephant, a growling tiger, and

  • an alligator's low-pitched snarl.

  • Using animal sounds to invoke terror

  • is one of the oldest tricks in the movie book.

  • [King Kong roar]

  • That's enough!

  • A 2010 study by researcher Daniel Blumstein

  • analyzed scary film soundtracks

  • and found that they contain more of what's called

  • "nonlinear sounds", which contain things like

  • rapid frequency jumps, nonstandard harmonies,

  • noise, or when an instrument or voice is

  • pushed beyond its normal range.

  • Animal alarm and danger calls seem to be full of

  • these nonlinear sounds.

  • It seems to trigger some sort of innate danger signal

  • inside of our brains.

  • They've even incorporated these nonlinear sounds into film music.

  • Which I can't play for you because of intellectual property law.

  • But I put a bunch of links down below,

  • so make sure to check these out.

  • In Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds"

  • Oskar Sala made nonlinear bird noises

  • using an instrument called a trautonium.

  • Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" owes its

  • super-creepy nonlinear soundtrack to

  • Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki.

  • And in "The Day The Earth Stood Still"

  • Bernard Herrmann used what is probably

  • the most nonlinear instrument of all time, the theremin.

  • [theremin playing]

  • The list goes on and on. No one knows if

  • these composers consciously added

  • nonlinear sounds to their music,

  • but the effect on the audience is unmistakable.

  • Our brains evolved to be scared by that.

  • We've seen how movies use sound to scare us to death.

  • But our brains are really scaring us to life.

  • So go enjoy that scary movie, just remember:

  • Even if you close your eyes, you can't escape

  • The Sci-Fright Zone.

  • Head on over to "What's That Buzz?"

  • to watch our super-scary cat video.

  • If you'd like to watch something a little less frightening

  • then subscribe to this channel.

  • Stay curious.

  • [music playing]

Congratulations, you're alive. That's a big deal.

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B1 中級

物事はなぜ怖いものに聞こえるのか? (Why Do Things Sound Scary?)

  • 95 13
    Hhart Budha に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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