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- Why Do Songs Get Stuck in Your Head?
These sticky songs had faster tempos than non-earworm songs, Jakubowski and her colleagues found. Earworms were also likely to share pitch patterns that are common in Western music, particularly opening riffs that start out rising and then fall in pitch.
Kids Songs: Complete List
But a dash of surprise seemed to help a song become sticky, too. Within these common structures, the researchers found that earworms tended to have unusual melodic features, like more leaps between pitches than typically expected in a pop song, or larger leaps in pitch.
Earworms like The Knack's "My Sharona" and the Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic" are examples of songs with those unusual features, the researchers wrote. So why does the brain do this to us?
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There may be some individual differences in earworm susceptibility, as is suggested by the consistent finding that musicians have songs stuck in their heads more frequently than nonmusicians. The research presented in Greece found that people with subclinical obsessive-compulsive traits meaning they do not have the disorder but do have a tendency toward prevarication and worry reported earworms more frequently than people who were less obsessive-compulsive. People are more likely to pick up an earworm when they are doing something routine, like jogging or chores, according to research.
It's not totally clear what's going on in the brain during earworm episodes, but a paper published in the journal Nature found that the auditory cortex — the part of the temporal lobe that processes sound — was involuntarily activated when participants listened to familiar songs in which a section was muted.
In other words, the brain was compelled to "fill in the blank" in the missing music. The researchers could even tell the difference between the auditory cortex filling in lyrics, in which case specific auditory association areas that are key to interpreting sounds became active, or imagining instrumentals, in which case more primary, basic sound-processing areas were at play.
Why Do Songs Get Stuck in Your Head?
Because earworms are involuntary, it's tricky to get rid of them on purpose. For the earworm study published in the British Journal of Psychology, the researchers asked a dozen people to record their earworm episodes in a diary and found that the more people tried to consciously get rid of an earworm, the longer the song remained stuck in their head. The process of thinking about an earworm to attempt to banish it likely just keeps the tune fresh in the brain, the researchers wrote. However, they added that it might also be that the stickiest, most annoying songs are the ones that people attempt to get rid of, and that those songs are somehow less amenable to banishment than the ones that people happily go on humming.
Original article on Live Science.
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She has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. A common phenomenon Scientists sometimes refer to earworms as "involuntary musical imagery," or INMI. Earworm-ready music Like it or not, the brain gloms on to recent and frequently heard songs.
Can't get you out of my head So why does the brain do this to us? Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor on. Do not underestimate the power of this former Disney Channel star. Do not.
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Some songs just make you want to dance around in your underwear and sing into a hairbrush. This is one of them. If only I could actually carry around sunshine in a bag. At least I can carry it on my iPod with the Gorillaz. Not only does this song play during The Parent Trap already making it the best but it's also super uplifting. You're welcome.
If that doesn't make you happy, then there's a deeper issue we have to discuss. Lilo and Stitch was probably one of the best Disney movies ever with one of the greatest soundtracks to accompany it. Disney really just knows how to come up with some catchy hits. Honestly, an entire playlist from this Frank Sinatra twin could wake me up in the morning.