Finally, that song that keeps playing on a loop inside our heads for no apparent reason has a name – stuck song syndrome!
In this interview with neuroscientist and opera singer Indre Viskontas she explains what it is.
“So, earworms are a term that we use for songs that get stuck in our heads. The technical scientific term is “stuck song syndrome” or “involuntary musical imagery.” And essentially it happens often when we’re not kind of thinking about it. But if I tell you the name of a couple of songs that often does it, like Who Let The Dogs Out. Or Bad Romance by Lady Gaga, rah rah, ah ha ha. You know, you’ve got it already probably in your head. Or if you’re a parent, Baby Shark. My apologies.”
What is also fascinating is that Dr Viskontas explains how to get rid of a stuck song.
“These are songs, these are melodies that are really catchy. They’re not too simple, but they’re not too complicated either. And often they don’t have a clear ending, or at least we don’t remember how they end. What’s more memorable is the actual melody but not how it ends. So if you’re trying to get the earworm out of your ear, one strategy is to sing it in your head as vividly as possible until you get to the end. And even if you don’t remember the end, make it up.”
This interview does not explain why a large number of people experience stuck song syndrome, but the phenomenon is being explored to better understand OCD, as it is a common accompanying symptom within the OCD disorder.
Here is the question, do you have a stuck song right now and did Dr Viskontas’ suggestion for ending it work?