Memory/ Earworms/ Mnemonic devices


I can’t mention repetition and music and not talk about earworms. These are the bits of a song that work their way into our subconscious and then suddenly we can’t get them out of our heads. One theory about earworms says it’s our brains trying to work out a melody or song lyrics.

psych earworm

When we repeat catchy tunes in our minds, we also repeat the lyrics. It’s much easier for us to remember song lyrics than it is to memorize other sorts of things such as speeches or lists of things for example the US Presidents. Songs become like a “hook” for us to hang words on. In addition to the rhythm, you have the melody: the tune, the ups and downs, and the pitch that the words accompany. This provides a powerful set of cues that help you remember the words, much more effectively than random boring, monotone stretches of speech.

Teachers take  advantage of this fact to attach some pretty useful words to melodies; to encode  information in lyrics. Think of the ABCs. Or the days of the week in Spanish, or the Fifty Nifty United States, or the presidents.

In class I use the Animaniacs Pinky & the Brain Cartoon to help students learn the brain parts.


Source Article on Using Gifs To Explain Stuff


About victoriaruss

I teach World History, Civics, AP Psychology, and AP Government at West Bladen High School.
This entry was posted in Unit 3 Neuroscience, Unit 7 Cognition and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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