Diana Deutsch, professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego (see webpage), is well-known for her work on perception and memory for sounds. She has discovered numerous auditory illusions, one of them know as 'phantom words', a sequence of repeating words or phrases that arise simultaneously from different regions of space, which leads listeners to hear words and phrases that are not really there.

In other words, "The brain is constantly attempting to find meaning in things, even where there is no meaning. This can often lead us to experience illusions. Just as, when we look into a cloudy sky, we may see strange faces and figures, so when presented with ambiguous sounds, we may hear words and phrases that are not really there." (Source: http://philomel.com/phantom_words/phantom.php)

For those whose curiosity has been sparked, you can listen to such an illusion here (© Diana Deutsch) It's best to listen to it through speakers placed some distance apart, not headphones. I'm hearing 'no way no way no way...'. Are you hearing something different?

For more auditory illusions discovered by Diana Deutsch, you can go here or here