Why is the song "stick" in the head?


2017-03-13 20:00:06




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Agree, probably each of us there were occasions when once heard somewhere that the song is literally "etched" into the brain and you couldn't get rid of it. Humming and whistling tune, but he just like to repeat, spinning in my head. Then you've been distracted, minding my own business, when suddenly for no reason at all annoying tune again begun to sound in your mind. Familiar? And you wonder, why is that happening?

This clingy motives even received its own name – "involuntary musical imagery," or less euphemistically "ear worms". For a long time scientists tried to understand the phenomenon of haunting melodies. Back in 2010, it has been proven that the more a person tries to get rid of the "sticky" melodies, the more it is fixed in consciousness.

During one of the scientific papers on this subject specialist at the University of Durham Kelly Jakubowski found that almost all the "ear worms" are songs similar to each other in structure: as a rule, they are well known and include repeated notes and part of the bit, these melodies are simple enough to be easy to remember. In 2012 in Finland, in another survey 90% of participants reported that at least once a week find that is constantly humming the same tune. In addition, the experts were able to find interesting pattern: at the "ceasing" ringtones direct impact of musical pattern – long notes and smaller intervals increased the chance that people will start humming a song. Kelly Jakubowski conducted several series of interviews and observations from 2010 to 2013 to find out which songs are most often "sinks" into people's heads. She then compared these compositions with the same, which were called not as clingy. It was found that Intrusive songs rhythms were faster, these songs often began with "strong beats", or a sharp rise, which then went into decline.

But this tells us only about what sounds "stick" in the head, but do not answer the question why this is happening. In 2005, a series of experiments in which people were allowed to listen to the famous song, but in the middle was abruptly turned off. At this time activated the auditory cortex, which tried to "sing" a song. This reaction was caused by the memorization of the motif and play it in the case of repeated listening of the same or similar composition. This "cliff" is very similar to the "strong beat" in its structure, which "accused" in "jamming" songs of the employee of Durham University.


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