General Question

cecildooderbop's avatar

Why do we get songs stuck in our head?

Asked by cecildooderbop (192points) August 1st, 2008
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

aaronou's avatar

I suppose we often hear them, and it stays with us for awhile. Just as we might have a conversation about some topic and then continue to think about that topic throughout the day, so too we hear a song and dwell on it. I really don’t know exactly how to fully answer this, but I think it’s more odd that I get songs stuck in my head that I don’t even like.

syz's avatar

There’s a nice article here from a professor at the University of Cincinnati.

flameboi's avatar

:) cool!

susanc's avatar

Don’t you know? the music industry pays doctors to secretly plant jingle/ABBA/country music neuroreceptors into the brains of babies before they show them to their mothers and fathers – a simple insert that can be done in seconds. God, I thought everyone knew this.
This has been going on since they started delivering babies medically. You’ll find that people who were delivered out in the forest or out in the desert are impervious to jingles.
Just ask around.

Trance24's avatar

Well often it is not just songs that get stuck in our heads. Other things get stuck too. As for songs though I would guess it is mostly about the beat of the song. It just sets of receptors in our brains that makes us hear it constantly. Sometimes though songs I hate get stuck in my head, but they are also songs that usually have a lot of repeated beats and patterns. So maybe our brains pick up patterns and involuntarily repeat them in our subconscious. But perhaps Nikipedia would have more in site on this matter since you know she deals with the brain and all.

BirdlegLeft's avatar

RadioLab did an excellent piece on this. If I remember I’ll post a link from home.

syz's avatar

@BirdlefLeft: I was looking for that link (andrew posted it a few weeks ago) but I couldn’t find it :(

BirdlegLeft's avatar

@syz, let me look right now.

BirdlegLeft's avatar

Okay. Found it. Here:

Enjoy. It’s a great show.

stratman37's avatar

I’ve found that if you want to get the offending song out of your head, finish it. don’t just repeat the chorus or the “hook”, but take it all the way to the end. Or strike up a conversation with someone – it’s hard to keep that song in your head when your brain is working on the conversation.

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