Why Do Music Get Stuck In Our Head?
Songs, jingles, melodies and tunes that get stuck inside your head? Sounds familiar? We call these earworms. Studies by marketing professor James J. Kellaris show that nearly 98% of people have had songs stuck in their head. His studies demonstrated that different people have varying susceptibilities to earworms. Even though, almost everybody has been afflicted with one at some time or another. Each person tends to be haunted by his own demon tunes. These earworms seem to be personal. Professor Kellaris' studies popularized the term 'earworm', in German 'Ohrwurm'.
What triggers earworm and why earworm occurs still is a mystery. Tracking earworm in a scientific setting is nearly impossible to do. Music affecting the brain's motor cortex has something to do with the earworm is the suggestion of the researchers. People listening to music is a lot of activity in the motor planning regions. Breeding earworms are from repetitive listening. When we hear the music again and again, we can feel exactly what will happen next. Repeative song patterns are the songs that frequently get stuck. Victoria Williamson says that songs that have notes with longer durations and smaller pitch intervals are easier to sing. Your brain singing is an earworm. When people are tired or stressed, earworms are more likely to bite. The earworms are considered somewhat enjoyable, only some consider it annoying. The things that annoy us are more inclined for us to remember. We don't notice the things that are briefly in our minds. We always notice what we are annoyed by. What we do affects picking up an earworm. When our mind is not occupied, like doing household chores or taking shower is when an earworm strikes. After an earworm has taken hold, people are more likely to feel positive emotions. The brain holds the song's details like notes and phrasing. When a song gets stuck in your head, you hum it at your desk. You sing it on your way to the restroom....
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