Brainstorm And Green Needle Is Trying To Be The New Laurel And Yanny

Which one do you hear?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably experienced the ‘laurel’ and ‘yanny’ audio clip that took the internet by storm earlier this week.

Well buckle up because the internet isn’t even remotely finished with these illusions. This time it’s a video where the toy appears to say either ‘brainstorm’ or ‘green needle’.

The clip was originally posted on Reddit by a user called ‘squidjeep’ and shows a toy, that when activated seems to say either of the words.

Now before we allow this to become the next ‘laurel’ and ‘yanny’ we have some bad news. There is in fact a right and a wrong answer.

The video shows a toy. That toy is from the kids TV show Ben 10 and its name is....Brainstorm.

So why is it that some people are insistent that what they’re hearing is ‘green needle’?

Well one explanation is that this is an extremely good example of the psychological effect known as priming. So while you might originally hear the word ‘brainstorm’ if the tweet tells you that the word is in fact something else you brain could justifiably make the switch.

Of course that can’t just happen with any word, so there must be some clear similarities between the audio in the same way that ‘laurel’ and ‘yanny’ all gave us a headache.

Earlier this week we spoke to Professor Valerie Hazan a speech, hearing and phonetic sciences expert from University College London and she was able to shed some light on what’s happening with these audio illusions.

On explaining how you can switch between hearing both words, Professor Hazan said: “The reason that a person can see their perception switch without explanation may also mean that our ears and brain have latched on to the other acoustic pattern than the one they were previously latching on to.”

Add to that the visual cue that it could in fact be ‘green needle’ and you’ve got yourself a case well and truly closed.


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