Some people hear in color.
Are you one of them? Let’s talk about that! ♪ (theme music) ♪ – Gooooood Mythical Morning!
– Can you see sounds? Can you taste words? – Do numbers have colors for you?
– Hmm! Today we’re gonna find out if you–
and you– have synesthesia, which is the neurological phenomenon where two or
more of your senses are unexpectedly connected. For example, you might not
only see the color blue, but you can hear it, or taste it, or even smell it.
Only about four percent of the population – has a version of synesthesia.
– Really? That’s a lot! But I’m gonna present a test to find out
if you have it or you have it. Are you ready to find out… Do You Have
Synesthesia… If it Please Ya? – Does that mean I can get it if I want it?
– No, it just means that that was – what rhymed, so I said it.
– And I have an easel here! – (Link) This is a psychological
test placard. – (Rhett) Okay.
– Are you ready for Test number one? – I am.
– You can play along at home. The question is: Do you associate numbers
and/or letters with colors? If you do, this is called “Grapheme-Color Synesthesia.”
For example, the number 5 will always– – Blue!
– Be blue. Oh, maybe it is for you. – Honestly, I just said–
– You just said “blue?” I don’t think I had it,
I just said a letter– a color. – That was a color! Blue’s a color, right?
– Yes it is. And blue will always be associated with that number, with 5 in
that case. YouTuber Anna Akana, our friend, – has this, Rhett. So I’m gonna show you–
– Oh yeah, she talked about that on an – Ear Biscuit.
– That’s right. I’m gonna show you this. – Take a look at this.
– (Rhett) This a phone number from a movie? – (Rhett) Five, five, five, five, five.
– What do you see, Rhett? I see fives. Oh! I see backwards fives…
a few of ’em, otherwise known as – (both) twos.
– That’s good. Okay, now– – But I see numbers.
– You don’t see any colors. – You’re not associating any of these–
– I see black numbers on white backgrounds. Now, if you were a synesthete, you would
be seeing something– this is kind of a simulation of what you’d be seeing on
the right here. You can see how the fives are associated with blue, say for this
particular person, and the twos are associated with red. So for a person who
has Grapheme-Color Synesthesia, the twos would pop out a lot quicker than
they did for you, because they’re – associated with different colors.
– So you’re saying this is like what would – happen in their brain.
– In their brain. – They’re not gonna actually see blue
– Correct. or red, but it’s so strong
that they’re going to– It would give the sensation that we have,
as normal people looking at this, is the sensation they have by association,
colors with numbers or letters. I can safely say that that did not
happen in my brain. I saw phone numbers – from movies…
– Maybe it happened to you. – And I saw a few twos.
– You know what? Let’s move on. – Oh, that’s it! I failed the first test.
– It’s okay. There’s other tests. – Do I get some medal or something?
– You get a high five for trying. – What if I win? How do I win?
– Well, you didn’t. – Okay.
– You participated and you got the – participatory high five.
– Okay. Okay, test number two, we’re gonna
ask the question: Do you hear in color? This is called “Chromosthesia.” It’s the
most common form of synesthesia. My ears get red sometimes when
people are talking about me. (chuckles) – That’s a different thing.
– (crew laughs) – Don’t laugh at that.
– No, they get itchy. A lot of musicians have this. Pharrell,
Billy Joel, Mozart, Jimi Hendrix, and Kanye West, of course, has this. On Seth
Meyer’s show, he said, “I give you paintings, sonic paintings. You know,
I have synesthesia. I can see sounds in front of me.” But then he lamented
about being constrained by his celebrity – status.
– Yeah, I feel you, Kanye. That he wasn’t able to really express
himself. But there was one artist who was not constrained by his celebrity status,
and that is famous Russian painter and synesthete Wassily Kandinsky. Here’s
what he did: He went to a concert of – composer Schoenberg in 1911.
– Schoenberg! And then he created a painting based on
what he saw when listening to the concert. – So what I want to do, for test number two,
– Oh, I get to do this. – Uh huh.
– This is what this paint is for. You have a blank slate here.
Grab your painting tools here. – Look at this. We did a great job on that.
– Grab your painting tools at home if you – wanna try this.
– Bob Ross! I’m gonna play String Quartet #2 from the
concerto that Kandinsky was listening to. – I’m sure I’ll paint exactly the same thing.
– I want you to paint, and then we’ll – compare the two, okay?
– Okay. – Are you ready?
– Oh yeah. All right, hit the music.
Just take it in. ♪ (slow string music) ♪ (Link) You shouldn’t have to conjure up a
visual, it should just come to you. – (Rhett) I don’t have to. Yeah, oh.
– It just come to you? Don’t worry. ♪ (string music intensifies) ♪ ♪ ♪ – I’m done!
– Yes you are. All right! I can see right away that
you’ve painted something. That’s good. – Yep!
– That’s about as positive as my feedback – can get. (laughs)
– Would you like me to tell you what’s – happening?
– Yes, I do. Yeah. (Rhett) So that’s me and you
on our big dog. We fight fires. – Oh, we’re on a firefighting dog.
– Yeah, yeah. He’s so big. He’s like Clifford but he’s
not Clifford. He’s not red. – He’s yellow.
– He looks totally normal, but he’s– There’s a lot of wildfires out
here in this part of the world. – I thought he was peeing on our show logo.
– (Rhett) No no no no, we find fires. – Okay, do-gooders.
– I almost drew the CBs, the radios, because we’re part of the volunteer
fire department, and they call us up, and we get on the big dog and we go–
He’s like a hose, I mean. – He pees bullets on a fire.
– We get to a lot of places that the – firetrucks can’t. And I put the cool sun.
– (Link) Right, right. – (Rhett) And there’s also a cloud.
– Right. That’s really good. – Thanks for including me in that. (laughs)
– (Rhett) Yeah. You can put this away.
I’m afraid you’re gonna– – Okay.
– That you’re gonna paint me by accident. Ah… if I may, I’d love to compare this
to Kandinsky’s drawing. Painting. – So, okay… here we go right there.
– Whoa, a lot of the same colors. Look at that! So let’s just
put this down here a little bit. – Whoa whoa whoa, this is wet paint, dude.
– Here, I’ll hold it right here. So basically, you know, you were onto
something with the yellows. Hold on, no, seriously. Not with the
yellows. Every single color is exactly the same. He has the exact same color style.
He has the orange and the orangeish-yellow. – He has a lot of black.
– Okay. He has blue, and he has the reddish orange.
Name one color that’s in our paintings – that’s not the same color.
– Well, you know what? None! – Congratulations, you have chromosthesia.
– Yeah, I do! I’ve got it! I mean, – I heard… why did i paint us blue?
– (Link) You’re right! Congratulations, man! – You got something cool!
– You seem to be being facetious. No I’m not, I’m not. But you know what,
there’s other tests. I wanna see if you – also have these other ones.
– Well I passed that one. Next question, test three:
Do you see words as food? – Yeah.
– (Link and crew laugh) Now, this is called “Lexical-Gustatory
Synesthesia.” It’s a very rare form of synesthesia where you associate words or
objects with a taste, smell, or food. – Actress Tilda Swinton–
– (Rhett) Oh, she’s got it. (Link) She thinks in food. When she hears
the word “word,” she pictures gravy. – Okay.
– She almost tastes it. When she hears or sees the word “tomato,” she doesn’t
think of a tomato as the object, she – thinks “lemony,” like a lemony taste.
– Come on, Tilda. – I don’t know. So what I’m gonna do is–
– I love you, but come on, Tilda. I’m gonna present four pictures, and I
want you to tell me what food comes to mind when you see the picture
and the associated word. – (Rhett) Okay.
– You ready? Play along at home. – “Table.” Your first word is “table.”
– I can get a lot of food on that table. – But which one comes to mind?
– A big turkey. – “Big turkey.”
– Sitting right in the middle. – Is that how it works?
– Tilda Swinton, when she sees “table,” – she pictures a slightly dry cake.
– Well I guess the wood is kinda cakey. – Well it’s dry. It’s dry.
– Yeah. – All right, here’s another one. “Jail.”
– Now that’s not a real jail. That guy’s obviously a stock image actor.
I’m thinking of… toilet wine. – (Link and crew laugh)
– (mocking) Toilet wine! Toilet wine. You know, when you make
the wine? They do that in prison. – They make their wine in the toilet.
– Uh, synesthete going by the initials JIW – says it’s “the taste of cold, hard bacon.”
– We just have initials for this guy? – That’s all we’ve got?
– JIW wishes to remain anonymous. – Okay.
– Cold hard bacon, cold hard bars? – I guess I can get that.
– Okay. Prison wine, I can get that.
Your next word is “Barbie.” Uh… skipping a meal.
Skip a meal. Is that a food? – (crew laughs)
– That’s not food. That’s the lack of food. Not eating a meal. Like,
“I didn’t have lunch today.” – Okay, so you’re not thinking of any food.
– (Rhett) That’s what I think about. – Yeah, she just–
– The lack of food. She thought about food and then
she was like, “I’m not eating today.” – Synesthete PS– again, I don’t know–
– Oh, come on. – The initials, I don’t know.
– Why’re you so afraid, people? Be honest. She associates a Barbie with
sweet jelly with sour granules. – Oh, come on.
– It’s very specific. You don’t believe it? – Come on, don’t– It’s true!
– Yeah, I mean, I believe it… – “Sweet jelly with sour granules.”
– I don’t respect it. I believe it, – I don’t respect it.
– Who are you to judge? – I’m the guy you’re testing.
– Yeah, you’re just the subject. You’re not a judge.
Your final word is “college.” – Ramen.
– You’re all over this one. – (Rhett) I mean, that’s the first thing
that came to my mind. – (Link) Famous synesthete–
– (Rhett) Taquitos! Taquitos… – You can’t change your answer.
– Ramen, pizza rolls, French bread pizza, – (crew laughs)
– chicken nuggets, Big Macs, uh… – Coffee? Perhaps?
– Maybe a little coffee, yeah. – Spoiled milk. Condiments.
– Soy sauce. – Lots of condiments.
– Lots of stored-up soy sauce for no reason. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Barbecue sauce.
I think of several foods. All right. Famous synesthete James
Wannerton, when he thinks of college, – he tastes sausage.
– Yeah he does. And if you mix all of the things you said
together, maybe that could be a type of – sausage. College sausage.
– Did he have sausage in college? Was it like, did he go
to college in Germany? It’s not logical, man. If you have it,
it just– sausage comes out of you. And that’s suspect to me.
I mean, that one’s suspect. – If you have a lot of sausage in college–
– Because he doesn’t have it, he’s suspicious of it. But that’s okay.
Test number four: Can you literally feel – what others feel? Physically.
– I’m very empathetic. No, physically. Like if you see someone
being tapped on the shoulder, do you feel a tap on your shoulder? That’s called
“Mirror-Touch Synesthesia.” It’s very rare. Doctor Joel Salinas of the
Harvard Neurology Residency Program has this. Hasn’t researched it, actually
has it. He says if he see someone being slapped across the face, he feels a hint
of a slap on his own cheek. – Really?
– I think that might make you a better doctor, unless you’re like a surgeon.
You’re like, “Ohhh!” Like, I don’t know– – what you do at that point.
– Yeah, yeah. That’s a tough deal. So test number four is: I’m going
to do something to myself– – (chuckles) Okay.
– And then you’re gonna see if you can – feel it, okay?
– (crew laughs) – All right.
– You ready? – No sausage.
– (crew laughs) – Hm. I’m supposed to feel that?
– Do you feel any tug in your ear? – No, ’cause I’m not tugging my ear.
– Exactly. – I wonder if they are.
– (crew laughs) – ‘Cause you’re not.
– I’m really trying, though. Oh, watch out. All right,
put your knee up here. – (Rhett grunts) Oh!
– (Link) Here you go. – Got a little itch?
– Got a little itch on my knee! Little itchy knee. You feeling anything? Oh! Like when you– yeah, almost,
yeah, when you do that? Get close? Now actually touch it?
Yeah, I feel that. – (all laugh)
– All right, what about this? (crew laughs) I… I didn’t… I think you’re
gonna need to do that again. No, you know, maybe a little tingle…
can you do the thing where you hit this side and then you come
back and hit that side again? – (Rhett) Ooh.
– (crew laughs) – You feel anything?
– Do that again. – No, I can’t do it anymore!
– What if I did it? – Do it.
– No, what if I slapped you? – (all laugh)
– Lemme see if I feel it. Slap yourself. – I don’t wanna–
– Oh! (laughs) You didn’t feel–
I didn’t see it, I blinked. That was a really good one.
That was so solid! Can you do the thing where it comes back? – Oh, gosh!
– (all laugh) – The backhand was a little weak.
– Someone out there is hurtin’, and you, my friend,
have mirror-touch synesthesia. Let us know in the comments what your
experience was, because I can’t– – That was so fun!
– I can’t hear what’s happening with you and I wanna know desperately, so let us
know. Thanks for liking, commenting, – subscribing, sharing…
– You know what time it is. I’m Anna Akana and I have synesthesia.
It’s time to spin the Wheel of Mythicality. Shout-out to real-life synesthete Anna
Akana. Check her out on her YouTube – channel: YouTube.com/AnnaAkana.
– And click through to Good Mythical More. – I have another test for you.
– Oh! I’m so good at these tests. I’m gonna administer upon you.
It involves a clipboard! – Mm. That’s more of a survey, usually.
– It’s not a survey; it’s a test. (Rhett) Freeze frame! (camera shutters) ♪ (sentimental music) ♪ [Captioned by Caitrin:
GMM Captioning Team]