a students' magazine / did you know?

Earworms

Hi guys! Have you ever heard anything about earworms? I’m certain you happen to continually listen to a song or a piece of music in your mind, that plays over and over and over again! In this case, you have an earworm. 😉

Don’t worry! It isn’t a virus, an animal or a disease, but simply music. Now I’m totally sure that you have understood what I’m talking about 😉 I often have an earworm in my mind, and you? What is the type of music that mainly makes an impression on you?

It may seem strange but this phenomenon is the aim of the studies of many scientists. It can seem an insignificant aspect of our life, but in truth it has a complex scientific explanation. Some researchers have interviewed hundreds of subjects discovering that the majority of earworms are slices of pop music inserted in advertisements, TV series or soundtracks of films and video games; they’ve also discovered that earworms are less frequent in persons who studies music regularly!

An earworms, or brainworm, can also be the catchy refrain of a song recently listened to or connected to a memory that is stuck in our mind. In fact, earworms are also called ‘involuntary memory’ and it is demonstrated that music is always encoded in a very personal way and that it is recalled better in memory; our brain relates a song to the moment when we hear it and keeps this memory; for this reason it is believed that an earworms probably is the ‘reflex’ of a memory that we don’t remember, and that as soon as we remember it the earworm will vanish. 🙂

Moreover, scientists believe that this phenomenon can help us memorize something in a better way; it can be a sort of training for our memory and it can help us to fix anything in our mind. Regarding this, a lot of studies are underway but nothing is completely sure about all these theories.

In fact, in spite of the achievable good effects of the earworms, they sometimes can become intolerable and stressful! There some reported cases of earworms that last for months or even years! For example, in Jharkland (India), a men asked some psychiatrists for help because the soundtrack of a film had been playing every day in his mind for five years! Frightful, isn’t it?

However, this is an extremely rare case, but if you have an annoying earworm, according to some studies, you can try to fight it doing something that trains your brain, like crossword puzzles, Sudoku or simply reading. Nevertheless, pay attention! If you want to stop it, it will never stop! 😉

Did you know that references to earworms are sometimes present in TV series or animated cartoons? 🙂 Certainly you have seen Dexter’s laboratory in your childhood, one episode presents a music band formed by viruses called ‘Boy band virus’ that continually play in the ear of the host, simulating an earworm. 😉

To sum up, earworms can help us in our memory, and singing a pleasant refrain can be amusing, but it is important to stop it… sooner or later. 😛

Thanks for your attention, see you soon!

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