Musical Illusions and Phantom Words: How Music and Speech Unlock Mysteries of the Brain

ISBN : 9780190206833

Diana Deutsch
272 ページ
156 x 235 mm

In this ground-breaking synthesis of art and science, Diana Deutsch, one of the world's leading experts on the psychology of music, shows how illusions of music and speech-many of which she herself discovered-have fundamentally altered thinking about the brain. These astonishing illusions show that people can differ strikingly in how they hear musical patterns-differences that reflect variations in brain organization as well as influences of language on music perception. Drawing on a wide variety of fields, including psychology, music theory, linguistics, and neuroscience, Deutsch examines questions such as: When an orchestra performs a symphony, what is the "real" music? Is it in the mind of the composer, or the conductor, or different members of the audience? Deutsch also explores extremes of musical ability, and other surprising responses to music and speech. Why is perfect pitch so rare? Why do some people hallucinate music or speech? Why do we hear phantom words and phrases? Why are we subject to stuck tunes, or "earworms"? Why do we hear a spoken phrase as sung just because it is presented repeatedly? In evaluating these questions, she also shows how music and speech are intertwined, and argues that they stem from an early form of communication that had elements of both. Many of the illusions described in the book are so striking and paradoxical that you need to hear them to believe them. The book enables you to listen to the sounds that are described while reading about them.


List of Modules (QR codes)
Chapter 1: Music, Speech, and Handedness
Chapter 2: Some Musical Illusions are Discovered
Chapter 3: The Perceptual Organization of Streams of Sound
Chapter 4: Strange Loops and Circular Tones
Chapter 5: The Tritone Paradox: An Influence of Speech on How Music is Perceived
Chapter 6: The Mystery of Absolute Pitch: A Rare Ability That Involves both Nature and Nurture
Chapter 7: Phantom Words: Our Knowledge, Beliefs and Expectations Create Illusions of Speech
Chapter 8: Catchy Music and Earworms
Chapter 9: Hallucinations of Music and Speech
Chapter 10: The Speech-To-Song Illusion: Crossing the Borderline between Speech and Song
Chapter 11: Speech and Music Intertwined: Clues to Their Origins


Diana Deutsch is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego. A leading researcher on the psychology of music, she is noted for her discovery of musical illusions, and her work on perfect pitch. Deutsch is editor of the book The Psychology of Music, and creator of the compact discs Musical Illusions and Paradoxes, and Phantom Words and Other Curiosities. Among many other honors, she was awarded the Gold Medal Award by the Audio Engineering Society.