Auditory distortion

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An auditory distortion can be described as the experience of perceived alterations in how audible noises present and structure themselves.[1][2][3][4]

These distortions can manifest in many styles, but commonly take the form of echoes or murmurs which rise in the wake of each sound and are accompanied by fluctuating changes in speed and pitch.[5][6][7] This can intensify up to the point where sounds are consistently followed by continuous reverberation,[8] often rendering the original sound completely unrecognizable. However, it often quickly resets to base level and starts over if the source of noise is stopped or changed.

The experience of this effect can be broken down into three distinct levels of intensity. These are described and documented below:

  1. Mild - At the lowest level of intensity, auditory distortions consist of subtle and spontaneous reverberation,[5][6][8] echo effects,[5][7] and changes in pitch[5][6][7][9][10][11][12][13] of noises within the external environment. They are fleeting, low in intensity, and easy to ignore.
  2. Distinct - At this level, auditory distortions consist of distinctly noticeable, spontaneous echo effects and changes in pitch attributed to noises within the external environment. Thy are long and drawn out and loud enough to become difficult to ignore.
  3. All-encompassing - At the highest level, auditory distortions become constant and impossible to ignore. The complexity of the resulting alterations quickly renders the original sound as unintelligible.[1]

Auditory distortions are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as auditory hallucinations,[7][10][11][13][14] auditory suppression, and auditory enhancement.[1][5] They are most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds,[15][16][17] such as LSD, 5-MeO-DiPT,[11][18][19] and DMT. However, they can also occur less commonly under the influence of dissociatives such as ketamine,[20][21] PCP, and nitrous.[5][6][22]


The audio clip above demonstrates how it may sound to listen to a lecture while undergoing the experience of level 3 auditory distortions.

This audio clip denotes level 3 audio distortions in a forest setting.

Psychoactive substances

Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:

Experience reports

Anecdotal reports which describe this effect within our experience index include:

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Juszczak, G. R., & Swiergiel, A. H. (2013). Recreational use of D-lysergamide from the seeds of Argyreia nervosa, Ipomoea tricolor, Ipomoea violacea, and Ipomoea purpurea in Poland. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 45(1), 79-93.
  2. Walsh, S. L., Strain, E. C., Abreu, M. E., & Bigelow, G. E. (2001). Enadoline, a selective kappa opioid agonist: comparison with butorphanol and hydromorphone in humans. Psychopharmacology, 157(2), 151-162.
  3. Gorman, E. M., & Carroll, R. T. (2000). Substance abuse and HIV: considerations with regard to methamphetamines and other recreational drugs for nursing practice and research. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 11(2), 51-62.
  4. Mehta, U. M., Naveen Kumar, C., Venkatasubramanian, G., & Thirthalli, J. (2017). Multimodal sensory distortions in postpartum exacerbation of schizophrenia. Clinical schizophrenia & related psychoses, 10(4), 222-224.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Weinel, J. (2016). Entoptic Phenomena in Audio: Categories of Psychedelic Electroacoustic Composition. Contemporary Music Review, 35(2), 202-223.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Strassman, R. (2000). DMT: The spirit molecule: A doctor's revolutionary research into the biology of near-death and mystical experiences. Simon and Schuster.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 N Stanciu, C., & M Penders, T. (2016). Hallucinogen Persistent Perception Disorder Induced by New Psychoactive Substituted Phenethylamines; A Review with Illustrative Case. Current Psychiatry Reviews, 12(2), 221-223.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Espiard, M. L., Lecardeur, L., Abadie, P., Halbecq, I., & Dollfus, S. (2005). Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder after psilocybin consumption: a case study. European Psychiatry, 20(5), 458-460.
  9. Carbonaro, T. M., Eshleman, A. J., Forster, M. J., Cheng, K., Rice, K. C., & Gatch, M. B. (2015). The role of 5-HT 2A, 5-HT 2C and mGlu2 receptors in the behavioral effects of tryptamine hallucinogens N, N-dimethyltryptamine and N, N-diisopropyltryptamine in rats and mice. Psychopharmacology, 232(1), 275-284.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Shulgin, A. T., & Shulgin, A. Transform Press; Berkeley, CA: 1997. TIHKAL: The Continuation.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Shulgin, A. T., & Carter, M. F. (1980). N, N-Diisopropyltryptamine (DIPT) and 5-methoxy-N, N-diisopropyltryptamine (5-MeO-DIPT). Two orally active tryptamine analogs with CNS activity. Communications in psychopharmacology, 4(5), 363-369.
  12. Strassman, R. J., Qualls, C. R., & Berg, L. M. (1996). Differential tolerance to biological and subjective effects of four closely spaced doses of N, N-dimethyltryptamine in humans. Biological psychiatry, 39(9), 784-795.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Carbonaro, T. M., Forster, M. J., & Gatch, M. B. (2013). Discriminative stimulus effects of N, N-diisopropyltryptamine. Psychopharmacology, 226(2), 241-246.
  14. Cuomo, M. J., Dyment, P. G., & Gammino, V. M. (1994). Increasing Use of “Ecstasy “(MDMA) and other Hallucinogens on a College Campus. Journal of American College Health, 42(6), 271-274.
  15. Meatherall, R., & Sharma, P. (2003). Foxy, a designer tryptamine hallucinogen. Journal of analytical toxicology, 27(5), 313-317.;jsessionid=F3773EF1876BD69CAF408DA77CCBF8EF?doi=
  16. Mowry, M., Mosher, M., & Briner, W. (2003). Acute physiologic and chronic histologic changes in rats and mice exposed to the unique hallucinogen salvinorin A. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 35(3), 379-382.
  17. Leake, C. D. (1972). Hallucinogenic Drug Reaction—MDA. JAMA, 219(8), 1069-1069.
  18. Tanaka, E., Kamata, T., Katagi, M., Tsuchihashi, H., & Honda, K. (2006). A fatal poisoning with 5-methoxy-N, N-diisopropyltryptamine, Foxy. Forensic science international, 163(1-2), 152-154.
  19. Muller, A. A. (2004). New drugs of abuse update: Foxy Methoxy. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 30(5), 507-508.
  20. Hillhouse, T. M., Porter, J. H., & Negus, S. S. (2014). Reply to: Rapid antidepressant effects and abuse liability of ketamine. Psychopharmacology, 231(9), 2043.
  21. Oye, I., Paulsen, O., & Maurset, A. (1992). Effects of ketamine on sensory perception: evidence for a role of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 260(3), 1209-1213.
  22. Zuba, D. (2012). Identification of cathinones and other active components of ‘legal highs’ by mass spectrometric methods. TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 32, 15-30.