Project Amygdala

Client: HKU
Release: December 2009


Project Amygdala was my graduation project. It’s an interactive audi0-experience in which the player has to try and navigate through a 3D environment on sound alone.

A fictional organisation called IRIN (International Research Institute for Neuropsychology) initiated a project called Project Amygdala. The purpose of this project is to make it possible to take a look inside the a person’s memories. It’s more of a ‘listen’ than a ‘look’ though, because the user can only experience these memories in the form of sound.

The player takes place in a specially designed chair called The Explorer. The chair has a controller on each arm rest. These controllers can be used to nagivate through the world. The player gets some headphones to put on and, for optimal concentration, a blindfold. There’s no way to win or lose.  There is only the freedom to explore a digital landscape full of memories.

Contribution to Project Amygdala

Apart from my tutor and the voice actors, I was the only person who worked on this project. I created the concept, the sounds, I modified an Ikea chair and turned it into The Explorer, and I was responsible for all the technical aspects of the project. The digital environment the player can explore was made inside the Source Engine. It’s essentially one level with rooms where audio sources can be turned on and off.


The following is a recording of Project Amygdala’s tutorial being played by a blindfolded person. It’s recommended that you put your headphones on so you can hear more clearly where the sounds are coming from.

The entire video is in Dutch, but there are English subtitles available.
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