“Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.”
You, like many others, were probably able to read the above sentence without a problem — which is the reason for the mass online appeal this meme had more than a decade ago.
Psycholinguists explain that the meme is, in itself, false, as the exact mechanisms behind the brain’s visual “autocorrect” feature remain unclear.
Prof. Alec Marantz, of NYU’s departments of Linguistics and Psychology, is the principal investigator of the research.
Gwilliams and team looked at how the brain untangles ambiguous sounds. For instance, the phrase “a planned meal” sounds very similar to “a bland meal,” but the brain somehow manages to tell the difference between the two, depending on the context.
The researchers wanted to see what happens in the brain after it hears that initial sound as either a “b” or a “p.” The new study is the first one to show how speech comprehension takes place after the brain detects the first sound.