Diana Deutsch

Believing Your Ears: Examining Auditory Illusions is based on an extensive filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Diana Deutsch, Professor of Psychology at UC San Diego and one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of music. This conversation provides behind the scenes insights into her discovery of a large number of auditory illusions, including the so-called Octave Illusion, which concretely illustrate how what we think we’re hearing is often quite different from the actual sounds that are hitting our eardrums.

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, Revealing Mistakes, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

  1. Eclectic Beginnings – Music, art, philosophy, and philosophical psychology
  2. Tones, Pitches and Critical Values – Intriguing results in music and memory
  3. The Octave Illusion – How to confuse the brain with tones
  4. Medical Applications – A highly suggestive result for epilepsy patients
  5. Eyes vs. Ears – The neurophysiological differences between vision and hearing
  6. Gut Issues – The impact of discomfort
  7. The Scale Illusion – Auditory scene analysis and evolutionary factors
  8. Surrounded by Illusions – From the Glissando Illusion to Tchaikovsky’s 6th
  9. Perfect Pitch & Tone Languages – Why Mandarin might help your musicianship
  10. Towards Monotony? – The tonal implications of globalization
  11. Embracing Discomfort – The benefits of being confused

Howard’s insightful questions led to a full exploration of the ideas that form the basis of my work. He truly masters the art of conversation as a tool to create an innovative multimedia product that serves as an ideal complement to standard, more formal approaches.” — Diana Deutsch



Available in electronic format on all major booksellers, including:



Believing Your Ears: Examining Auditory Illusions is also part of the five-part Ideas Roadshow Collection, Conversations About Psychology, Volume 1, which is available in both paperback and electronic format.