A Scientific Explanation for Earworms, Those Catchy Songs That Repeatedly Get Stuck in One’s Head

A recent TED-Ed lesson by Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis explains earworms, those catchy songs that get stuck in someone’s head repeatedly. Although repeated exposure to a catchy song through radio, television, or streaming music might make an earworm worse, there are references to the phenomenon in literature that predates recorded music.

Hellmuth Margulis did a similar TED-Ed lesson in 2014 that explains why humans love repetition in music.