Yanny vs. Laurel vs. Weed

By now you’re probably so over Yanny vs. Laurel that you don’t even know why you opened this…but we might’ve just found the only part of the debate that hasn’t made headlines yet.

The Backstory

If you haven’t heard the recording that broke the internet, here it is. The gist? Some people hear Laurel (a majority it seems—including the original voice actor who made the recording) while others hear Yanny. The “secret” science behind this was revealed by several news outlets (but we like this video) and explained that Laurel contains sounds made up of mostly lower frequencies, while Yanny contains those made up of higher ones. What you hear when the recording plays is all a matter of perception and what your brain tends to pick out for sounds— high pitched ones or lower ones.

Cannabis + Hearing

Our interest in the internet’s latest bullshit piqued when a friend told us he heard Yanny for the first time after smoking, whereas previously- he’d only ever heard Laurel, like the rest of us.

So we had to find out, will smoking change what you hear re: Yanny vs. Laurel?


MJ + The Brain

There’s no doubt about it, MJ affects the senses. And although there hasn’t been much formal study on cannabis and hearing, and the majority of scientists claim it doesn’t strictly change anything— talk to anyone who smokes about music and how much better it sounds when they’re high. There’s definitely something at work here, if not physically in your ears then at least in your perception.

Which is exactly the conclusion we came to after poking around online. Maybe cannabis doesn’t change your hearing, but it definitely messes with your perception— which plays a huge part in what you hear.

As explained by neuroscientist Tyler Perrachione in the above video, a lot of people with damaged hearing tend to perceive lower frequency sounds rather than high ones, which might just be a super sciency/nice way of telling us that we’re all going deaf since the majority of folks heard the low frequency word “Laurel”.

But another interesting piece of digging proved that people (or in this case mice) with damaged hearing tend to rely more on neurotransmitters for sound perception. Translation? If your hearing sucks your brain will use all the chemicals in its basket to make sense of sounds. And it turns out cannabinoids are known for affecting those chemicals and how they make the brain work.


The Short Of It

While we can’t point you to a scientific journal for an exact quote, it seems pretty apparent at this point that smoking weed can change what you hear in Yanny vs. Laurel, especially if your hearing is damaged. So if you had ear infections as a kid, went to too many concerts, or are just getting up there in age, chances are your hearing has taken a hit. And after you smoke that joint, things are happening in your brain that have the power to change the way you perceive sounds.

Our conclusion?
Bad hearing + weed = Yanny.

So go ahead, roll one and tell us what you hear.  

Post by grasshopper

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