Complicated Cortex Action
I’ve been somewhat annoyed ever since our Editor Extraordinaire announced this topic. First, because all I could think about is that Meryl Streep movie with the same title. Second, because that Avril Lavigne song “Complicated” has played on repeat in my already overtaxed brain. Don’t even ask why I know the words to that song to begin with.
But why do songs get stuck in our heads?
Apparently, these pests are called “earworms.” And according to howstuffworks.com, they trigger a part of our brains called the “auditory cortex,” eliciting a brain itch that’s similar to a mosquito bite. The more we try not to think about the song, the deeper it gets lodged into our heads.
Let’s try an experiment.
“I want my baby back baby back baby back…”
Were you able to identify what company’s commercial this little ditty is from? Is this earworm now lodged in your head? (If so, you may commence mentally throwing rotten tomatoes at me right now.)
As with almost anything that has to do with our brains, researchers don’t know why certain songs get stuck in our heads.
My sister’s most common earworm is “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”
My best friend has two: “Yellow Submarine” and “A Wonderful Christmas Time”
So what about you, dear readers? What jingles or songs inevitably earworm their way into your brains? Share them in the comments, so we can all get annoyed with you, and then pass the contagious nuisances to those around us. Today, at your workplace and at home—wherever your days take you—go around singing “I want my baby back baby back baby back.” I guarantee you will be loved by all. Spread the joy that earworms bring!
P.S. If I ever start a band, it’s going to be called “Complicated Cortex Action.” It sounds dirty, but it’s not.