What’s it like to educate Archie – III

Rather than a bat, how about a ventriloquist’s dummy ? Steve Jones in todays UK Daily Telegraph writes on the opposite effect to the seeing through hearing post earlier. Using “Educating Archie”, successful ventiloquism on the radio, he is discussing the importance of visual clues in voice communication. Hearing through seeing. (See also all the Sacks posts earlier on perception abnormailities.)

Actually I believe the Archie example is more subtle and important than that. Archie worked because people already had “visual” schemata of a ventriloquist with his dummy, and could surely relate the audible timing, tone, body movement noise to the visual image in their heads – and believe Archie was a dummy. There’s more to spoken communication than sound, AND there’s more to audible communication than words – ask a bat.

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