That stupid song that refuses to move out our heads, so intense and annoying. Like a parasite feeding on our thoughts, the songs are usually embarrassing. The etymology  says it was coined in Germany. The German version being Ohrwurm.

Dr.Ira Hyman  a music psychologist at western Washington university who conducted a research to overcome this, says the key is to find that something that will give us the right level of challenge.

When we are doing something very mechanical we tend not use our cognitive resource, so the internal jukebox begins to play.  Or when we are doing something that is too hard then the music comes back. the best thing to do is to find something in between. This would be different for each person.

It was found that anagrams and Sudoku tended to reduce the recurrence of earworms.

Anagrams with 5 letters were more effective, particularly if it was verbal.

The earworms are usually the chartbusters and  maybe only the chorus. Interestingly researchers could not hit on logic for earworms.

Dr.Vicky Williamson, a music psychologist at the University of London says the easy to hum along tend to turn to earworms, though often unique to individuals. There are situations that end to trigger the earworms, BBC music even had people identify their own stories involving earworms and how they went about curing it.

Earworms seem to be the key to understanding how music gets associated with a memory.

My earworm currently is the Kuvempu song “Oh! Trishta chancharita” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE7wD7ekNco&list=PL75B75F86CE82999F&index=6  I notice that I tend hum it whenever I am disturbed and kailasam’s “namma thipparhalli balu doora http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liFHg7VpVd0&list=PL651FA863BF3BD51F&index=1”   when I am in a mood to create mischief.


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