back to top

The Science Behind That Song Stuck In Your Head

However mysterious, lots of science has been devoted to earworms. Although a cure is hard to come by, scientists definitely know how a catchy song is created. Once you're in on the secret, try your hand at creating your own jingle for Zag Bank!

Posted on

2. Earworms have most likely been a plague on humankind for...ever.

De Agostini / Getty Images

For most of the 200,000 years of modern human evolution, we've transmitted facts and processes through spoken or sung words. So, most scientists believe our brains have become hardwired to encode spoken and sung information. Unfortunately, we can't always choose what we recall.

5. ...and totally predictable.


A good earworm is one that you can anticipate. A person can simply hum or sing a millisecond of an earworm-worthy song, and our brains can take it from there. Also, fun fact: 90% of the music we listen to, we've heard before.

8. They affect the motor cortex of your brain.

BSIP / UIG / Getty Images

When you listen to music, there's a lot of activity in your motor planning regions. Basically, this part of your brain is in action (or in this case, singing along with the song) even when you're not.

13. In fact, it actually interferes seriously in the lives of some victims.

Atsushi Yamada / Getty Images

A neuroscientist named Steven Brown is one such victim. He describes the phenomenon as always-present music in his consciousness.

Feeling inspired to create your own addictive tune? Try your hand at creating a new jingle for Canada's innovative direct banking solution, Zag Bank!

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!