Sound/Space: Auditory Illusions

I came across these links much to my late-night delight yesterday, as they are both an entertaining reprieve from note-typing and engage what we were talking about during Laura’s presentation. Get your headphones ready.

Auditory illusions are just what they sound like: similar to optical illusions, they are simple techniques that play on tricks of cognition to produce hallucinatory effects.

This first link is sparing on the information, but has too startlingly effective examples: the virtual haircut and the matchbox.

Auditory Illusions

While I wouldn’t go so far as to argue decree hearing as the primary sense for understanding spatiality yet, I feel like these illusions make a pretty good argument for it.

This second link “Five Great Auditory Illusions” has a few spatial ones (with a repeat of the popular virtual haircut) that pose some interesting questions. Consider the second one, “Phantom Words” – I have yet to do it as I don’t have the proper setup in my room, but apparently the repetition of words in projected into different spatial locations in the room allows your brain to create coherent meanings out of the random sea of words, with some suggestion that your own inclinations have an effect of producing meaning, your schema guiding the collection and assemblage of the randomized words. It might be interesting to pursue what role spatiality performs in constructing meaning out of sound.

There are also a couple music-oriented illusions there that while not wholly connected to spatial theory, are nonetheless terrifying and interesting to see hear easily your brain can be tricked.

– Bryn

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