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Chewing gum may help get rid of Earworms

This form of sub-vocalisation moderates short-term memory performance and auditory images.

Could not resist this one!

Everyone has experienced them and sooner or later wants to get rid of the annoying tunes: earworms. British researchers believe they have found a simple, but effective way, to get rid of these annoying melodies. According to their study, which was published in “The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology”, gum-chewing could be an effective counter-strategy.

Irrelevant sub-vocalisation has proven to lessen short-term memory performance and auditory images. Scientists at the University of Reading considered gum-chewing to be a similar type of sub-vocalisation and therefore tested its effect in three different experiments with volunteers.

They studied the effects of chewing on the conscious appearance of musical images, as well as their recurrence after attempts to suppress them had ended. In both scenarios, gum-chewing reduced the number of times the melody had been consciously remembered.

Another experiment showed that the actual ‘hearing’ of the melody in the brain was also reduced by gum-chewing. The third trial proved that the sub-vocal action of chewing was better able to moderate the appearance of a catchy tune than a motor activity, such as tapping a new rhythm with one’s fingers.

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