One of my biggest pet peeves is “earworms”. An earworm is a “cognitive itch” that gives your brain the urge to fill in gaps to a songs rhythm. When songs get stuck in our heads, the only way to scratch that “itch” is to constantly repeat the song over again. Some researchers believe that songs get stuck in our heads, because it is similar to trying to repress thoughts. The more we try not to think about it, the harder it becomes to forget about it. Other researchers believe that earworms are just a task for our brains while they idle. When we listen to music it triggers our auditory cortex, and researchers found that when they played a familiar song our brains automatically fill in the rest. As many as 99% of the population has been affected by a tune stuck in their head. There is no true way to get songs out of our heads once they are stuck, but some people swear by listening to a song all the way through, singing another song, or switching to another activity.
Monday, June 11, 2018
Posted by Sarah Owen at 3:19 PM
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Interesting post! It seems like there is always at least one song stuck in my head, and let me tell you, earworms are the worst! If I ever hear the song "Funkytown" on the radio or in public, it'll be stuck in my head for the next two days minimum. I guess my brain really likes the song. I've never heard earworms referred to as a "cognitive itch" before, but honestly, I can't think of a better way to describe them. Thanks for posting!ReplyDelete