Every week I drive from my family home to stay at our cottage near the University. Normally I have the SatNav switched on - not because I don’t know the way (I’ve been doing this journey every week for the past four years), but because the SatNav beeps in advance of all the speed cameras along the route and I don’t want to earn a speeding ticket by an inadvertent lapse of concentration.
The other day I drove my regular route, but this time I didn’t have the SatNav (as it had been switched into my wife’s car). As usual I was listening to the radio, and on this particular night they were playing a live Oasis rock concert. As the journey progressed, I was amazed to find that on a number of occasions I was convinced that I could hear the usual speed camera warning beeps (issued by the non-existent SatNav)! As I became aware of what was happening, I noticed that I appeared to 'hear' the warnings at the exact times/locations on the road as they would have occurred if the SatNav had been on board.
The music was loud and cacophonous, so I can only assume that I experienced an auditory illusion that had been triggered by visual (episodic) memory – a dramatic illustration of the powerful top-down predictive nature of perception, and very much in line with my PRESENCE theory. Had I not had the radio switched on, then I’m sure that I would not have experience the illusion.