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Author Topic: Is there an auditory equivalent of an optical illusion?  (Read 7396 times)

Rodolfo Hermans

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Rodolfo Hermans asked the Naked Scientists:

We know about optical illusions based on the way the brain works, and not on our senses.

Is there any notorious auditory illusion other than pareidolia?

Are the any logical illusions that work in a way similar to optical or auditory
illusions?

What do you think?


 

Offline RD

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Is there an auditory equivalent of an optical illusion?
« Reply #1 on: 26/07/2008 18:31:48 »
There is an auditory illusion of constantly rising pitch...

Quote
Sierpinski round (audio)   An example of ambient music using the Shepard tone illusion [rising version].
http://www.uwec.edu/walkerjs/PicturesOfMusic/Audio/Pitch_Perception_examples/Shepard_tones.htm

 

Offline LeeE

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Is there an auditory equivalent of an optical illusion?
« Reply #2 on: 26/07/2008 23:08:21 »
I think a lie or an error might qualify as a logical illusion - this would be a statement that is presented as true but is in fact untrue.
 

Offline RD

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Is there an auditory equivalent of an optical illusion?
« Reply #3 on: 27/07/2008 00:43:50 »
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Diana Deutsch  conducts  research on perception and memory for sounds, particularly music. She has discovered a number of musical illusions and paradoxes, which include the octave illusion, the scale illusion, the glissando illusion, the tritone paradox, and the cambiata illusion , among others.
http://deutsch.ucsd.edu/

I must admit that I can't perceive most of these illusions, (I'm a bit Mutt and Jeff).
 

Offline RodolfoHermans

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Is there an auditory equivalent of an optical illusion?
« Reply #4 on: 29/07/2008 03:15:16 »
I think a lie or an error might qualify as a logical illusion - this would be a statement that is presented as true but is in fact untrue.

Yes, but in a good optical illusion you have the clear perception, even after being convinced that the reality is different, your brain may still gives the wrong idea. Also, an illusion doesn’t need to define the validity of a premise. In contrast, a lie by itself does not necessarily give the idea of being true; a false statement needs to be flawed either in the logic or in the validity of the premises.

newbielink:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaning_tower_illusion [nonactive]

I don't understand enough about how an illusion works, but for example in the leaning towers illusion, the same information repeated two times gives generates the perception of a whole that is different from the parts. I may understand that I am been deceived, and may understand how, but I still see the illusion.

Also an illusion is "clean" in the sense that it doesn't overwhelm with information, is not like looking to a maze, but may be more like placing the information in tricky way, like Bilbo Bolson saying; "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve".

My guess is that an informal logical fallacy ( newbielink:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informal_fallacy [nonactive]) is what we could call a logical illusion, but I am not sure. Probably my question is then:

Are logical fallacies equivalent to optical or acoustical illusions in the way the brain is deceived?

 

Offline techmind

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Is there an auditory equivalent of an optical illusion?
« Reply #5 on: 04/08/2008 00:01:18 »
We know about optical illusions based on the way the brain works, and not on our senses.

Is there any notorious auditory illusion other than pareidolia?

Auditory illusions certainly exist - I have a nice collection of web links which I must dig out!

One difference compared to optical illusions is that the human visual system fairly well separates the detection (the eye as a camera) from interpretation (in the brain). You can typically look "closer" or differently at an optical illusion to figure out what's going on.
In contrast, the ear itself does quite a bit of analysis - it's much more difficult to "inspect" objectively what the sound is really doing.


There's the Barber Pole (Shepard tone) illusion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepard_tone
which gives the illusion of an ever-rising (or ever-falling) pitch - which is clearly illogical

There are other audio illusions where you mess around with harmonic sequences and add/remove one of the harmonics and perceive things which you didn't until "conditioned"... I must find my links!

If you can find some of these illusions then it can be useful to run a spectrum analysis program (eg from my web site http://www.techmind.org/audio/#specanaly ) so you can objectively watch what's really going on.


It's not from my archive, but I just found this link which might be a start:
http://listverse.com/miscellaneous/top-10-incredible-sound-illusions/


Just found these (which I emailed myself in Nov 2007):
I'm not sure which are illusions and which are about the workings of the ear. Something to get sidetracked on anyway...

http://www.lifesci.sussex.ac.uk/home/Chris_Darwin/Perception/Lecture_Notes/Hearing3/hearing3.html

http://www.parmly.luc.edu/parmly/clifton.html

http://www.audiospeech.ubc.ca/haplab/Dimitrijevic_Stapells_precedence2006.pdf


Also

http://www.people.carleton.edu/~jlondon/Keynote%20Webdocument.htm


http://hearing.psychol.cam.ac.uk/

http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/hearing.html

http://tonometric.com/adaptivepitch/

http://www.kyushu-id.ac.jp/~ynhome/ENG/Demo/illusions.html


Grrr - I know I've visited more audio illusions sites - will append post/topic when I re-discover them...
« Last Edit: 04/08/2008 00:33:46 by techmind »
 

Offline RD

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Is there an auditory equivalent of an optical illusion?
« Reply #6 on: 02/04/2009 16:48:17 »
Found a good quality* free example of the (rising) Shepard tone auditory illusion

 http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=65591

Click on the play triangle on the top left corner of the waveform to hear the sound.

It is 100 seconds in duration, but you'll probably want to switch it off before then.

[* The wikipedia descending Shepard tone example linked to above has glitches every 20 sec] 
« Last Edit: 02/04/2009 17:18:42 by RD »
 

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Is there an auditory equivalent of an optical illusion?
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