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Author Topic: why brain does that when we listen to a song  (Read 1483 times)

Offline nicholasman206

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why brain does that when we listen to a song
« on: 07/02/2013 21:35:17 »
hi all you guys
i just joined in and the only reason is i really need to know the answer :
why when we listen to a song or even a sentence or a word... for many times (10-20 times at least)
then... these things happen:
1- we remember it during day even when we are not think of it...  "ear worm"
2- we can recognize and remember it after even years... a song ive heard when i was 7... i can remember even at age 60 !
anyone can help me with that and know the science reason and terms about it so i can search more in net ?


Offline cheryl j

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Re: why brain does that when we listen to a song
« Reply #1 on: 07/02/2013 22:29:48 »
I've wondered that myself. I can remember the words to songs and melodies from when I was a kid and teenage, songs I didn't even particularly like! And it seems more difficult to do that now.They also say you have much better ability to learn a foreign language and master its unique sounds and accent,  before adolescence ends. So my guess is that music from your early years is more memorable for the same reason.

But I don't have any guesses about the other phenomena - ear worms. Sometimes I will hear a song during the day, maybe only once, and the next morning I wake up with it in my head.

Offline Minerva

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Re: why brain does that when we listen to a song
« Reply #2 on: 09/02/2013 07:52:47 »
Long lasting memories are formed through their emotional salience and well, memorability [:I] and there are lot of characteristics in songs that make them easy to remember-firstly the tune is usually consistent and repeated in a predictable way throughout the song.  Secondly the lyrics are usually short easily remembered sentences containing just a few words and also often repeated throughout the song.  If you add that together with a tune that you actively like or dislike (emotional salience) and the tune itself providing cues to the next words and you have an easily remembered structure.
The key to remembering things is repeated long term exposure and songs also fulfil that criteria nicely, they are played in many public places and even if you are not intentionally listening your brain will be registering it.  And who hasn't as a teenager (or adult) played a song over and over and over.....  I certainly did - in fact I remember taping Ride a White Swan on a C90 tape specifically for that purpose  :)
We remember a lot from our teenage/young adult years because we do a lot and its a period of discovery.  After about 30 ish normally we have settled down and life becomes a routine so there is nothing salient to remember.  Like in fairy tales-there is only adventure leading up to the wedding......"and they lived happily ever after" is a euphemism for "and then it was all a bit boring really......".  :)

Offline evan_au

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Re: why brain does that when we listen to a song
« Reply #3 on: 10/02/2013 10:41:19 »
Most people use the left side of their brain for speech. Damage to this area of the brain (eg due to a stroke or impact injury) can impair speech significantly.

However, I have heard that in left-dominant speakers, the equivalent area on the right side of the brain also supports what was described as "automatic speech": frequently used phrases, and the first lines of a song. And as I just discovered, it even has its own Wikipedia page:

Unfortunately, last year I experienced this first hand, when an elderly lady from our church had a stroke. Soon after the stroke, most of her speech was jumbled, but sometimes a word or short phrase would come through very clearly, like "Oh, yes". (It is good that after some intensive speech therapy her speech is now very much improved.)

We should also remember that music has an emotive and memorable quality all of its own, with a consistent rhythm and repeated melody, apart from the symbiotic relationship with the lyrics.

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Re: why brain does that when we listen to a song
« Reply #3 on: 10/02/2013 10:41:19 »


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