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Song Stuck in Your Head? What Earworms Reveal About Health


Elizabeth H. Margulis, professor, Princeton University, and director of the university’s Music Cognition Lab.

David Silbersweig, MD, chairman, Department of Psychiatry, and co-director, Institute for the Neurosciences, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.

Michael K. Scullin, PhD, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, Baylor University, Waco, TX.

Elaine Jones, MD, , neurologist, Hilton Head, SC; fellow, American Academy of Neurology 

Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic: “Stuck in my head: Musical obsessions and experiential avoidance.” 

Consciousness and Cognition: “Tunes stuck in your brain: The frequency and affective evaluation of involuntary musical imagery correlate with cortical structure,” “Musical hallucinations, musical imagery, and earworms: a new phenomenological survey.”

PLOS One: “Sticky Tunes: How Do People React to Involuntary Musical Imagery?” 

Psychology of Music: “Musical activities predispose to involuntary musical imagery.” 

British Journal of General Practice: “Stuck song syndrome: musical obsessions – when to look for OCD.”

New Music Express: “Scientists name the ultimate earworm and explain what makes songs addictive.”

Harvard Gazette: “Why That Song is Stuck in Your Head.”

Music Perception: “Singing in the Brain: Investigating the Cognitive Basis of Earworms.”

Annals of General Psychiatry: “Major depression with musical obsession treated with vortioxetine: a case report.”

Brain: “Minds on replay: musical hallucinations and their relationship to neurological disease.”

Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: “Want to block earworms from conscious awareness? B(u)y gum!” 

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