That infection song? You are having earworms.

Posted on May 2, 2015

Photo: flickr

Earworms are songs that does not seem to stop replaying in your mind. That new pop hit that you heard at the supermarket? Or the hum that your friend was singing? New study find that this can be countered by chewing gum.

Having a song stuck in your head is common amongst everyone. Some finds it disturbing, distracting or even as an obstruction to their train of thoughts.

This finding is based on “co-opting the articulatory motor programme to chew the gum impairs the involuntary recollection of an auditory image”.

And it is also consistent with the data that shows chewing gum affecting immediate memory for verbal material.

The studied was carried out using a pop song by David Guetta. Some participants chewed gum while trying not to think of the song, while other times they sat there without the gum.

After three minutes, those who did not had the gum thought about the song for about 10 times, while those that were chewing the gum thought about the song for around 7 times.

The study is based on the mechanism:

“…an articulatory motor activity—in this case, chewing gum—interferes with the experience of “hearing” musical recollections both voluntarily, or at any rate without any specific instruction to suppression the recollection…”


Source material from PsyBlog

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