In which I talk about musical hallucinations – updated

Update: It looks like KQED will air “Pop Music”, the Radiolab show in which I’m interviewed, at 8pm today, Pacific Time, March 5th. You can go to the KQED website at that time and click on the “Listen Live” icon about halfway down the page.

The show’s about earworms and musical hallucinations. I was interviewed for the show, along with Oliver Sacks and two other scientists, Diana Deutsch and Tim Griffiths. This was a particularly fun show for me; they gave me a lot of time to describe my experiences in detail. After I went deaf, I experienced round-the-clock musical hallucinations for three straight months until my first implant was activated in October 2001.

You can see the show’s description here. It doesn’t seem to be archived on WNYC’s website yet, but if you check back later it ought to be.


  1. I’ll be waiting for it!

  2. Carol Dunlap says

    I had sudden profound permanent hearing loss six years ago and it kicked off a most hallucinogenic round of nonstop music! Some of this was mitigated by my first CI, in 2004, but faint strains of the music live on! I now have bilateral implants and the music continues, but perhaps a bit weaker than before the surgery, in April. My second implant is so new that I am not supposed to be wearing my old processor in the previously implanted ear, so it’s hard to tell what lies ahead when both processors are fired up on a full-time basis.

    The worst thing about the sound hallucinations was that the first several audiologists and otologists did not know what I was talking about. Sure, they knew what tinnitus is, but musical hallucinations are quite different.

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