Fool your ears

This is the first thing I’ve come across in a while that was brief enough to share, but interesting enough to be worth doing so!

Courtesy of Digg, I bring you auditory illusions. For a long while I’ve loved a good visual illusion, but there are so few that seem to circulate that eventually I don’t bother looking any longer. But this was something new, and thrilling, particularly since I tend to be an auditory person sooner than visual.

The article itself is the host to five different intriguing tricks our brain plays on us to help make sense of the world around us. Much like the fact that our eyes retain an afterimage of each brief snapshot of the world to make our vision appear fluid, our ears lend some sort of consistency to the abnormalities of noise around us. All of them are interesting, but the best by far is the first, and so I’m going to post it directly. Be sure to listen to the following video with headphones on!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Zayna
    Jun 01, 2008 @ 17:45:57

    Oh my that was fun!

    I was following the sounds and even started wincing when they were “just snipping behind the righta eara, and now justa buzzing behind the left.”



  2. Stephen
    Jun 03, 2008 @ 19:24:15

    Wow, that was really something! You’re right about the first sound effect: I looked over my shoulder, then looked away, then looked a second time, then finally took the headphones off to make sure no one was pounding on the wall behind me!

    And Zayna is right about the clipping; it kind of creeped me out.

    Thanks for posting this! (It has taken me a few days to listen. The sound only plays from the left channel on my computer, so I had to grab an opportunity to listen on someone else’s.)


  3. nebcanuck
    Jun 03, 2008 @ 20:25:14

    Yeah, I winced at the snipping too. And the buzzing was an odd sensation, because I buzz my own hair once a week. It really sounded like someone was doing my work for me!

    Shoshanna (my girlfriend) jumped at the first knock. And she commented that she wanted to pull the bag off of her head. It’s pretty impressive that your brain can cause that kind of a reaction just through audio input! 🙂


  4. Ilona
    Jun 04, 2008 @ 07:20:49

    Yeah, the bag over my head was tough for claustrophobic me, and I did actually move my head away a bit when he started with the buzzer. But the thing that made me jump right out of my skin was when he suddenly moved in very close and whispered right in my ear!



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