Dr Karl reveals how you can get a song stuck in your head OUT
Science guru Dr Karl reveals how you can get a song that’s stuck in your head OUT in seconds – and why it works every time
- Australian scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki has revealed how to get rid of earworms
- To banish the song stuck in your head all you need to do is chew some gum
- Chewing gum uses the same part of the brain – and distracts from the stuck song
Chewing gum is the simplest way to distract your brain and get ‘annoying songs’ out of your head, according to scientists.
Earworms, which effect 92 percent of all adults, can last days leaving the sufferer agitated and sick of whatever song it is that has ‘got stuck in their head’.
Australian scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, who has degrees in medicine and biomedical engineering, revealed the quick hack to banishing repetitive songs is to chew gum.
Australian scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, who has degrees in medicine and biomedical engineering, revealed the quick hack to banishing repetitive songs is to chew gum
Earworms, which effect 92 percent of all adults, can last days leaving the sufferer agitated and very sick of whatever song it is that has ‘got stuck in their head’
‘For some unknown reason the same pathways in your brain that are used for programming your repeated jaw movement are also used for replaying music in your mind,’ he said.
The topic came up after a young woman called Triple J during the popular scientist’s regular question-answering segment.
Hearing her complaint led the doctor to start singing his own version of Lady Gaga’s song ‘Bad Romance’ which he says is one of the world’s most successful earworms.
‘Our brains are kind of pre wired to embrace music,’ he said, explaining the annoying habit most people contend with at some point.
He said earworms are driven by spontaneous cognition which is something which helps humans keep a high level of background alertness.
The scientist said other methods include ‘rinsing the brain’ of the song by playing it over again, or to go completely cold turkey and not listen to it at all.
What is an earworm?
An earworm is the term given to a set of lyrics or tune which gets stuck, usually on loop, in your head.
Also known as Involuntary Musical Imagery, is a catchy and/or memorable piece of music or saying that continuously occupies a person’s mind even after it is no longer being played or spoken about.
Most people experience an earworm once a week.
The caller phone back ten minutes after being given the advise and said chewing gum did actually get the song out of her head, but complained the doctor’s rendition of Lady Gaga’s song had replaced it.
Dr Karl said earworms have several characteristics.
They are usually songs from your culture, they are usually faster than regular songs, have a certain degree of repetition and has ‘unusual features’.
For thousands of years these catchy, unforgettable songs, were used to tell stories and share survival techniques.
Generations of knowledge would be passed down, the doctor said.
The scientist said other methods include ‘rinsing the brain’ of the song by playing it over again, or to go completely cold turkey and not listen to it at all
Scientists believe earworms are a benign form of rumination – the intrusive and repetitive thoughts associated with depression.
Which means these could also be switched off by chewing gum.
Other tactics to get rid of earworms include reading to yourself, listening to a different song or playing an instrument.
This is because they also uses the same section of the brain – distracting it from the song loop.
Recently, Dr Karl revealed the theories behind getting stitches, known as transient abdominal pain, during exercise, and it has nothing to do with your fitness level.
Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, who has degrees in medicine and biomedical engineering, recently explained the three theories behind stitches, or exercise related transient abdominal pain
The first theory is that the body hasn’t got enough blood pumping through it during intense exercise and the second is that the bouncing of the body cause strain on ligaments ‘holding everything together’.
The third is that the slippery lining of the gut is being irritated by the organs as they move around.
Dr Karl carefully explained the three theories and why two of them don’t quite fit the bill.
Theory number one – a lack of blood.
The much-loved scientist said that this theory sprung up because of the idea that when you are running you are not getting enough blood into your diaphragm muscles.
‘So your lungs go up and down and therefore it begins to hurt, and it is what they call an angina,’ he said.
The real reason behind why we get stitches when we exercise has been revealed – and it is nothing to do with being unfit as 20percent of professional runners suffer with the medical phenomenon
What is a stitch?
A stitch, or ETAP (exercise related transient pain) is an uncomfortable pain many people feel during exercise.
It is still not known why we get stitches but the latest theory suggests it is due to irritation of the parietal peritoneum, which is the slippery lining of the gut cavity.
Stitches can effect anyone, even professionals, up to 20 per cent of professional runners still experience them.
Not all stitches are the same, 80 per cent are sharp pain while 20 per cent are dull pain.
Scientists aren’t sure why this is.
The only problem is you can get stitches when doing activities that don’t involve heavy breathing – for example camel or bike riding.
So the second theory was born.
Theory number two – mechanical stress in the visceral ligaments.
The visceral ligaments help to keep your gut, which starts below the lungs and finishes at the top of the legs, contained and in its place.
‘In theory when you are pulling on these back and forwards you do get some irritation hence the stitch or the exercise related transient abdominal pain,’ Dr Karl said.
This would account for pain in running and also with activities like motorbike riding. But there are still problems with the theory – because swimmers get stitches too, but their body isn’t being bounced around.
So this leads the current idea.
Theory three – the irritation of the parietal peritoneum.
The parietal peritoneum is the slippery lining of the gut cavity, which runs from the bottom of the lungs to the top of the legs.
This membrane is smooth and slippery ‘so all your ten metres of gut and everything else can sort of slip around and slide inside it,’ Dr Karl explained.
‘And if a stomach is really full it can press on this peritoneum and irritate it in two different ways, of course the extra physical pressure plus when you have had a big meal your stomach will suck water out of anything that’s around and that will also dry things out,’ he said.
This current theory leads to solutions – or ideas on how to prevent stitches from occurring, Dr Karl said.
Avoiding exercise for two hours after a heavy meal can help reduce the risk of getting a stitch, as can avoiding highly sweetened drinks.
Dr Karl also recommends drinking ‘those isotonic drinks which have 6% carbohydrates’ during exercise.
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