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New Research Says A Song Can Give You “Brain Itch”, Here’s The Cure

(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Ever since I was a child, I’ve associated song titles with “things.” I could be talking to you, and a particular word you might say to me sends a signal to my brain and a song title comes out, sometimes in mid sentence.Since I converse a lot, this happens many times throughout the day. Sometimes the song title gets “stuck” in my little bean, and I’m anxious to hear the song played. Lucky for me I’m in the rock n roll radio business right? Recently, research has determined I’m not alone in my idiosyncrasy

Research has discovered that songs get stuck in our heads because they create a “brain itch” that can only be scratched by repeating a tune over and over again. Catchy songs can really cause a brain itch..YMCA is a good example. That song gets stuck in your brain and creates a “cognitive itch” that can only be relieved by listening to it. Sometimes once is enough, often times two or three times will do the trick.

I remember well one time I was going to do a gig with Bobby Vee. I was going through some of his songs, and decided to play my favorite by him..”Susie Baby.” I listened to that song twenty seven times in a row before the “itch” was over. Later that day, I told Bobby I had listened to one of his songs twenty seven times in a row.  “Which one” Bobby asked? Susie baby I replied. He smiled at me and said “Rayman, that song didn’t even chart on the top 40.” He later told me over beer and pizza, he does the same thing.

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