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That Song’s Stuck In My Head!



Has there ever been a song that you just can’t seem to stop humming?

Well thats due to stuck song syndrome. This syndrome is caused by earworms in your brain. Not to worry though, these are not actual worms! New research by Simon Brown of Simon Fraser University is shedding some light on this phenomena. In the last five years, earworms have become the subject of peer-reviewed scientific studies. In 2008, Finnish researchers published a study that used the Internet to survey age, gender, personality and musical competence of 12,420 countrymen who experienced the endless loops in their heads. The study also included an analysis of 271 responses to online questionnaires from BBC sites as well as radio networks in the U.S. and Australia. The results demonstrated that almost any thought or sensory perception can hit the “on” switch. Hearing The Village People’s “YMCA” can get the mental loop rolling. Other head music may be induced by a memory from summer camp, the stresses of work or simply the boredom of school. So, next time you can’t get a song out of your head you can thank your earworms!

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  1. sayrest4

    Great article! Apparently some people believe that it will go away if they don’t do anything about it. However, some researchers believe that continuing to play it in one’s head will only make things worse. It is compared to a mosquito bite, where the more you scratch it the more it itches.

  2. biorob

    This is a great post. I researched a little more about the “song stuck in head” phenomenon and found that about 98% of people have had a song stuck in their head at some point. This article mentions that, while there is no current cure for earworms, there are many tricks for you to get that song out of your head. Some examples include playing another song or simply thinking about something else. Hopefully this helps.

  3. ilikebioha

    I have had ear-worm plenty of times and I always wished I could channel the repetition in my head into memorizing school work. Although i have not been able to make up a song to help me memorize my vocab terms, a company called Earworms Musical Brain Trainer apparently has. The website says “Now, earworms mbt Rapid Languages uses this phenomenon to put the essential words and phrases you need not just on the tip of your tongue, but it transports them deeply into your long-term memory, ready for instant recall.”

    So if you are interested in learning a new language, visit their website-

  4. rawgdog

    Cool post hirschybar13! It’s pretty neat how the reason why we remember songs and have songs stuck in our heads is because of earworms, or “musical imagery.” It’s really fascinating how the brain works. This article reminded me of one that I came across earlier about coincidences. Are they real? Well in this article, they take a real life example and perform statistical and mathematical analyses to conclude that in fact, there is an extremely low probability of having a “coincidence.” This is to say that often times your brain makes you feel as though you are experiencing a coincidence when in actuality there is a reason for the “coincidence.” It’s amazing how there is a reason for every single phenomena!

    Here is the link to the article:

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