Can Anechoic Chambers Really Make You Crazy?

Off Topic: Most electronic musicians are familiar with the idea of acoustic treatment, and using it to capture clean recordings or to improve the accuracy of audio playback.

Few, though, have experience with acoustic treatment taken to its extreme, as it is in an anechoic chamber.

anechoic-chamber

Anechoic chambers are rooms designed to block outside sounds and completely absorb sounds generated inside. They are so quiet that the absence of background sounds can make you aware of sounds that you’ve never been conscious of, like the sound of blood flowing in your head, and distort your sense of space.

Some have even claimed that people can’t stay in an anechoic chamber for longer than 45 minutes, because the silence can make you crazy.

This episode of the science video blog Veritasium takes a look at anechoic chambers and their aural and psychological effects.

tl;dr version: Anechoic chambers probably won’t make you crazy, but they may make some people physically uncomfortable and will make you perceive things in a new way.

9 thoughts on “Can Anechoic Chambers Really Make You Crazy?

  1. Aren’t all the ‘going crazy’ myths instead surrounding the sound reversal chamber, not the simple recording-studio anechoic chamber in the video? By ‘sound reversal’ I mean that when you scream, your waveform is instantly analyzed, reversed, and reflected back to you, essentially cancelling your sounds. That in fact would be disheartening because you couldn’t talk, yell, or even hear your body noises if the technology was sufficiently sensitive to low sound pressures.

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