Friday, March 24, 2006

Help me - The Song Stucks in My Head

Music of the day: "Walking in Memphis" again - by Lonestar

I've been listening to the song for 2 days. And it stucks! It's just an ordinary song. The lyrics is so so but somehow manages to take over my brain. I think I'll probably get a migraine if I keep listening to the song one more day.

Once, not so long ago,I had "Who Let the Dogs Out" stuck in my head for an entire day. I'd hum it in meetings, even alter the lyrics to match the situation (e.g., "Who left the milk out!"). It was probably the longest 24 hours of my live.

But that's water under the bridge. You want to know why songs like "The Macarena," "YMCA," and that damned baby-back ribs commercial get stuck on repeat. Professor James Kellaris from the University of Cincinnati believes "cognitive itches" are the reason. This isn't a real itchie-bitchie, but rather a fancy-sounding metaphor for falling victim to catchy but annoying tunes. Just like real itches, the only way to get rid of a cognitive itch is to scratch it 'til you are satisfied. And by "scratch it," I mean *sing* or listen to it until you're teetering on the brink of insanity.

As for why certain tunes get stuck while others don't, there's no definitive answer. But the reason may have to do with repetition. The more you hear one chorus, beat, or whatever, the more likely it will burrow into your subconsciousness.

As this article from the BBC states, Kellaris found that 97-99% of people are susceptible. Additionally, women tend to be more vulnerable. Apparently this affliction is an epidemic :-). Maybe a telethon would help. So long as the Baha Men don't perform.

For scientific explanation, go to WebMD site for more info.

Funny Quote of the Day - Bill Cosby - "Human beings are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back home."

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