Megan Garber of The Atlantic provides her readers with a research-driven, peer-reviewed strategy to "fight the traumas of the earworm."
According to music psychologist Ira Hyman, who recently published a paper on earworm science in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, songs function much like puzzles in our brains: Music is catchy because its patterns and rhythms engage our minds like a crossword puzzle would. Listening to it -- really hearing songs' lyrics, particularly when they come in the form of a repetitive chorus -- requires some concentration, but not much of it. The stylings of Carly Rae Jepsen (and Beyoncé, and Rihanna, and Gaga, and The Beatles) fall into that cognitive sweet spot of attention and inattention, making them especially sticky. Oh-oh-oh.
Music is different from puzzles, though, in one significant way: While puzzles can be solved -- the crossword gets filled in, the anagrams get de-jumbled -- songs have no obvious solution. So they stay. And stay. And stay. Haunting and taunting and put-a-ring-ing in our ears.
|Nero's 'This Must Be the Feeling' by Warren Fu|
|Stereolizer Turns your iPad in an 80s Boombox|
|Political Animated Music Video by 'Le Peuple de l'Herbe'|
|iPop: Make iPod Safe|
|“They're usually these people that have been fucked by the system who are trying to unfuck themselves.”|
|“Parti.Vote is designed to make the US's representative government system more equitable.”|
|A Bicycle with No Pedals You Run With|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|“They don’t drive like people. They drive like robots.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“If the facial data and related personal information is stolen and put on the internet, it will cause big problems.”|
|"Hours after the fires in Santa Rosa I filmed this postal worker still delivering the mail."|
|"It’s time for something so stupid it’s actually smart."|
|100 Things We Can Do Today to Stop Global Warming in the Next 30 Years|