Some time ago I received an email from a professor at York University. He asked if he could use part of my Stairway to Heaven backwards site / idea for a class. Here is the conclusion of his experiment.
I have now given my lecture on perception, and the Stairway to Heaven was a real hit. Before I played it backwards, (and after they had listened forwards a few times), I distributed sheets of paper with the “words”. Half the class got the Satan stuff, and the other half got my own words, which have nothing to do with Satan or religion. I realized at the outset that my words did not fit quite as well as the Satan ones, but some lines fit very well. The demo went perfectly – those who had the Satan words could “hear” the backwards lines very well, and those who got my words, could hear at least some of my lines well. Interestingly, those who “heard” my words had a very difficult time hearing the Satanic words later on when I played it again.
Thanks again so much for your [help]. It has really helped me make a very important point about the nature of perception and how we actually construct our percepts.