Earworms–those annoying song fragments that play on some kind of loop in your head–are of endless fascination to neuroscientists studying things like memory.
The results of a Finnish new study on earworms involving nearly 13,000 people are in. Here’s what Lassi A. Liikkanen, a researcher at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT in Finland, has to offer.
1. Earworms are normal. Everyone has them.
2. These “involuntary music experiences” are often tied to “a life experience that is congruent to mood.” Translation: Earworms can be triggered by seeing an album cover or by a memory that is somehow tied to a song.
3. Women get more earworms than men. Why? Perhaps women are more in touch with certain aspects of themselves which leads to connecting memories and emotions more frequently than men.