An auditory Tetris effect



It’s called, the Tetris effect.

People who have played the game Tetris often find that they will start to see those falling blocks as they doze off, as they are just waking up, or even when they blink from time to time as they go about their lives. Though named after one rather addictive video game, the effect isn’t limited to that game. In fact, just about any activity can leave echoes playing in your mind. If you spend the day playing on the beach, you can find yourself feeling as though your body is being pushed and pulled by waves as you fall asleep that night, an echo off the sun and fun you had while playing in the shallows and serf. In similar fashion, a day on a small boat can leave the solid ground seemingly shifting and rolling under your feet, or if you play drums all damn day, just about every sound you hear starts to seem like it’s part of a persistent and complex rhythm.

Here’s a two-and-a-half minute YouTube video that both covered the subject, and made me smile.

The Tetris Effect

This morning, I was working with the vOICe, yet again. As I mentioned in the first post on the subject, I was getting some of those visual qualia again. This time, sometimes when I saw the target, where I saw it was rather far away from where the little white cube actually was. Both the occurrence of visual qualia and the accuracy of said qualia correlated with how well I was able to trust the back of my head. That is to say, the harder I tried, the worse it went.

After spending roughly 30 minutes with it, I moved on with my life. Later, I was on my computer, looking up something entirely different. That’s when I noticed that in the back of my head, I was hearing the sounds of the vOICe, including the beep like sound that corresponds to the presence of the cube. In fact, once, as I leaned back in my chair, puffing my air out through my lips, letting my mind rest for a moment after reading whatever the hell I’d just been reading, I noticed that I both heard it, and sort of saw it, in the same rather vague shadow like way that I see the target when I get visual qualia. For a moment, the “sight” of the cube moved up and down and side to side, and the sound of the cube did the same within the sound scape. It’s much like having a song stuck in your head, or seeing scenes from a movie you’ve watched recently behind your eyes.

I suspect this is my brain, replaying the sensory memory in order to train my neurons to be able to model the real-world phenomenon. A quick Google search just before I wrote this and I find that most researchers seem to think the same thing.

Go brain go!


2 thoughts on “An auditory Tetris effect

  1. I liken it to the ringing in your ears you sometimes get when going from loud to total quiet. A sort of… ringing in your brain.

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