March 03 is World Hearing Day. Our ears and our hearing can do amazing things and because we find that area so fascinating, we have done a little research for you and provide you with a few interesting facts and stories about our ears.
They are suddenly in our head, they don’t want to end, we are talking about earworms. Where does the music in one’s ear come from and how can you turn it off again?
Some songs get into people’s brains. When things are going well, you get into good humour, you feel great and want to dance. However, it can also get quite nervy to have the same melody in your ears all the time.
Between the parts of the brain that are used for listening and singing songs, impulses are sent back and forth – the endless loop begins. It’s clear that an earworm usually comes when our brain is bored and looking for distraction.
Our own subconscious mind also has a natural instinct to finish things or unfinished tasks, otherwise they are not save as “done”. Also called ‘Zeigarnik effect’. Musical feedback also falls into the same category. It simply drives us crazy when our brain has not finished singing the song.
In the past, the real earworm, also known as earwig, was used as a medical treatment for hearing problems until modern times. In this case, the bug was placed into the ear not alive, but as powder. This method is no longer practiced, but the metaphor of the crawling earwig in the ear canals still keeps alive.
So what can you do when an earworm-song is playing in a non-stop loop on the head radio?
– Chewing gum. But in the same rhythm, please.
– Want to play Sudoku? Or count down from 100 to 0. Small mind games are ideal.
– Try to get your mind off it, but don’t worry about how to get rid of it. Sooner or later it will be gone by itself.
– Listen to the earworm song in its entirety from beginning to end. Then there should be silence.
By the way: In German we also speak of ‘Ohrwürmer’.
You want to learn more about this topic? We recommend the YouTube channel from Beth Roars, especially this video: https://youtu.be/QTlY2Ui97gg