Re: phantom words demonstrations (John ffitch )

Subject: Re: phantom words demonstrations
From:    John ffitch  <jpff@xxxxxxxx>
Date:    Thu, 19 Jun 2014 14:13:33 +0100

Just a small gloss; I used to use this Phantom Word effect on my students (DSP/Music computation) with amazing results; students reports "Let them die", "Mine's a beer" and many disparate words. Quoting Diana Deutsch <ddeutsch@xxxxxxxx>: > Dear Massimo, > > As Bruce mentioned, I do have ?Phantom Word? demonstrations on CD ? > one on my CD ?Musical Illusions and Paradoxes? and six more on my CD > ?Phantom Words, and Other Curiosities? (see my ?Phantom Words? page > under ?Illusions and Research? in - this > contains a description of the phenomenon and also links to a number > of sound examples). The listener sits in front of two loudspeakers, > with one to the left and the other to the right. Each track contains > two words, or a single word composed of two syllables, and these are > repeated over and over. The same sequence is presented through both > speakers, but the tracks are offset in time so that when the first > sound (word or syllable) is coming from the speaker on the left the > second sound is coming from the speaker on the right, and vice > versa. People initially hear a jumble of meaningless sounds, but > after a while distinct words and phrases suddenly appear. The effect > is often so vivid that people may become convinced that different > words and phrases have been inserted into the track, despite my > insistence to the contrary. As I describe, ?phantom? words and > phrases are often related to what is on the listener?s mind. I also > describe and discuss this effect in my blog for Psychology Today at > In his book ?Rorschach Audio: Art and Illusion for Sound? Joe Banks describes this effect and relates it to the visual Rorchach > test. > > > Historically, I discovered this effect when I was exploring the > possibility of obtaining something like the octave illusion with > verbal material using headphones. This didn?t work well, but I > discovered by chance that when the words and phrases were presented > via loudspeakers rather than headphones these striking illusions > occurred. > > > All best, > > > Diana > > > Professor Diana Deutsch > Department of Psychology > University of California, San Diego > 9500 Gilman Dr. #0109 > La Jolla, CA 92093-0109, USA > > 858-453-1558 (tel) > 858-453-4763 (fax) > > > > > > On Jun 18, 2014, at 2:38 AM, "Goldstein, E Bruce - (bruceg)" > <bruceg@xxxxxxxx> wrote: > >> Massimo: >> >> Diana Deutsch has a CD that includes a "Phantom Word" demonstration >> that sounds related to what you are describing. >> >> Different words are perceived while listening to a repeating sound pattern. >> >> I think what is heard is in the signal, but variations in >> perceptual grouping over time causes different words to "appear." >> >> E. Bruce Goldstein >> Departments of Psychology >> University of Arizona >> University of Pittsburgh >> ________________________________________ >> From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception >> [AUDITORY@xxxxxxxx on behalf of Massimo Grassi >> [massimo.grassi@xxxxxxxx >> Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 7:46 AM >> To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxx >> Subject: Does anybody know a similar study? >> >> Dear list members, >> >> yesterday I colleague played me a sample (a sentence) of highly degraded >> speech. It was a recording made in a highly noisy environment. It >> included speech (a conversation) that was hardly intelligible except for >> a few occasional words. >> >> The colleague asked me to listen to the sample and pay attention whether >> I was able to spot a few target words. These words were not intelligible >> to me. >> >> The colleague then selected a portion of the recording and played it in >> loop. That portion included (according to him) one target word. After a >> few loops I was able to "perceive" the word. >> >> This is exactly the problem. I'm wandering whether it was just a >> suggestion due to the repeated listening of an ambiguous auditory >> signal. A kid of auditory Rorschach test: there seem to be nothing at >> the beginning but if you keep listening you can hear whatever you like. >> >> Is there anybody out there that is aware of studies that investigated >> whether listening in loop to an ambiguous signal can lead to hear things >> that are not in the signal? >> >> I didn't find anything yet. >> >> Thank you all in advance, >> m >> >> -- >> >>

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