The Shepard-Risset glissando: identifying the origins of metaphorical auditory vection and motion sickness
We recently showed that auditory illusions of self-motion can be induced in the absence of physically accurate spatial cues (Mursic et al., 2017). The current study was aimed at identifying which features of this auditory stimulus (the Shepard-Risset glissando) were responsible for this metaphorical auditory vection, as well as confirming anecdotal reports of motion sickness for this stimulus. Five different types of auditory stimuli were presented to 31 blindfolded, stationary participants through a loudspeaker array: (1) a descending Shepard-Risset glissando; (2) a descending discrete Shepard scale; (3) a descending sweep signal; (4) a phase-scrambled version of (1) (auditory control type 1); and (5) white noise (auditory control type 2). We found that the auditory vection induced by the Shepard-Risset glissando was stronger than both types of auditory control, and the discrete Shepard scale stimulus. However, vection strength was not found to differ between the Shepard-Risset glissando and the sweep signal. This suggests that the continuous, gliding structure of both these auditory stimuli was integral to the induction of vection. Consistent with anecdotal reports that the Shepard-Risset glissando is also capable of generating motion sickness (as measured by the Fast Motion Sickness Scale and the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire), the likelihood and severity of sickness for these stimuli was found to increase with the strength of the auditory vection.