You can’t explain it, but for some reason, “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey keeps getting stuck in your head.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Earworms–those songs that irritatingly get stuck in your head on repeat–happen to almost everyone on a weekly basis. Known in scientific circles as Involuntary Musical Imagery (INML), there are three reasons why certain songs become earworms: they usually have a faster tempo, a memorable melody and big up-and-down leaps in notes. (American Psychological Association)

Some of the most popular earworms are:

  • “Don’t Stop Believin'”  – Journey
  • “Moves Like Jagger” – Maroon 5
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody” – Queen
  • “Poker Face”  – Lady Gaga

Now that those songs are stuck in your head, do you want to know how to get rid of them?

Here are 2 tips:

  • Listening to the whole song stops it from being stuck in your brain on repeat
  • Listen to the National Anthem. “God Save the Queen” is said to cure earworms for the British.

Learn more about this with Petr Janata:

Brain’s Powerful Response to Music

Tuesday, November 18, 7:00 – 9:00 pm EST
More Info/Register

Petr Janata Ph.D., a UC Davis professor, received his B.A. from Reed College and his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. His research focuses on how brain mechanisms of expectation, imagery, sensorimotor coupling, memory and emotion support strong experiences with music, such as music-evoked remembering and being in the groove.

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