Science reveals why this song won't be out of our heads all through 2023


January Manzanas

  • January Manzanas
  • Marketing graduate and expert in digital marketing. Editor at OK Diario. An expert on curiosities, pets, consumption and the Christmas lottery.

the Songs that stick in our minds, commonly known as earworms, are melodies with simple, catchy lyrics, repetitive rhythms and short duration, repeated in a sound loop in the cerebral auditory cortex. These songs can stay in our minds from a few minutes to several days, making them difficult to forget due to their catchy nature and ease of remembering. In 2023, the song “Nochentera” is being played everywhere, which has catchy lyrics that evoke a night full of energy and memories of the 80s.

“Nochentera” phenomenon.

Familiarity with a popular song can increase the pleasure of listening to it. Activation of reward areas in the brain such as the nucleus accumbens when recognizing familiar melodies. Repeated exposure to a hit song can enhance recognition, making it “stuck” in the mind like an “earworm,” mentally playing on a loop, increasing its catchy effect.

he “Earworm” (known as “earmwors” in English) It is a colloquial and neuroscientific phenomenon called involuntary musical imagery (INMI), which represents a spontaneous cognitive event present in people's mental lives.

according to Study at Goldsmiths UniversityThe effect of musical repetition is related to the size and shape of brain regions such as Heschl's gyri and inferior frontal gyrus. Furthermore, the University of Sheffield suggests that people with neurotic or obsessive-compulsive traits or who move to the beat of music may be more susceptible to this phenomenon.

After conducting more than 2,500 surveys, researchers at that university have not found a single specific cause of earworms. They concluded that These phenomena can be caused by a variety of factors, from stress to emotion or even the word. On the other hand, Daniel Levitin, a psychologist at McGill University in Quebec, has explored these phenomena from an evolutionary perspective.

Daniel Levitin proposed an interesting theory by explaining that for most of 200,000 years of human history, before writing, our ancestors relied on memorizing words. He points out that when an idea is associated with an attractive melody, rhythm, and words, Facilitates quick and accurate retrieval of vital information, such as identifying poisonous foods or plants. This association between music and memory may have given rise to “earworms,” being an adaptation that simplifies the retention of important information.

Stuck Song Syndrome

Our auditory cortex has An affinity for simple, memorable wordsWhich explains why some songs stick in our minds. Our brain looks for patterns and repetitions, which makes us remember simple songs and sing them mentally. Even though the song stops playing, the left primary auditory cortex is activated when we listen to it, causing the song to remain in our minds even after we stop hearing it.

An MRI study showed this The same brain area is activated when imagining a songWhich suggests that the “earworm” feeds on the memory system in the auditory cortex. This phenomenon is linked to the survival instinct, which works similarly to the phonological loop, a mechanism used to retain auditory information for a short period, such as memorizing a phone number by repeating it out loud, according to research published in the journal Nature.

INMI tends to appear when the mind is not focused on a specific task, possibly linked to the activity of the “default mode network” that is activated during mind wandering. Studies with Magnetic resonance imaging from the University of LondonStudies show that INMI frequency is associated with the thickness of certain brain regions related to auditory perception and musical memory.

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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