The above term doesn’t sound very appealing, however, it is the name given by scientists to describe that annoying situation when you’ve got something annoyingly catchy playing on loop in your brain. Usually, this will be an annoying X-Factor song or a phrase you’ve picked up from the last movie you’ve watched.
Scientists say that earworms are caused by something registering very well in our brains, except we don’t remember the full song or words. After singing our new favourite words we’ve just picked up in our head, our brain tries to move on to the next set of words, but it can’t as we didn’t pick up the rest of the song. Your brain naturally likes to revisit unfinished thoughts tying up loose ends, therefore turning itself into an annoying loop machine. The best way to break this cycle is to work on a puzzle or play a game.
Have you ever watched someone hurt themselves and felt their pain? Even if you’ve never been hurt the way someone else has, your brain can play tricks and give you an idea of what it feels like through what scientist describe as “synthetic pain.”
Wincing at someone else's pain is a form of empathy caused by the “mirror area” of our brains. Scientists claim we have “mirror neurons” in our brain which are responsible for creating sympathetic responses when we see someone else hurt themselves. The human brain is naturally programmed to think we are all connected and feeling the same things, hence if one falls down we all fall down.
We all have memories of our life experiences we can be certain of, but some of those memories stored away in our minds might actually be false memories. Researchers studying and conducting tests on the brain's memory function claim that false memories can be easily implanted into someone's brain. Scientists believe the reason false memories can easily be implanted comes down to gaps in the memory. Our minds try their best to take in everything from our surroundings but fail due to the vast amounts of information. Unable to piece everything together and take in all the information from our experiences leads to gaps being created in our memories. Rather disturbingly our minds automatically start to insert false memories into these gaps which make it thinks makes the most sense.
Usually, we might associate experiencing hallucinations with taking psychedelic drugs, drinking alcohol, or suffering from a serious mental disorder, but that’s not always the case. Hypnagogic hallucinations can happen when we are falling asleep but not actually fully asleep, caught in limbo between the conscious world and the dream world. These hallucinations are usually visual, however, sometimes they can be auditory too.
Although hypnagogia phenomena are often reported by those who suffer from sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, but they are also reported by generally healthy individuals also. Quite often these hallucinations can be terrifying and lucid in nature, an individual may also suffer from an episode of sleep paralysis. The reasons for this come down to parts of the brain waking up before other parts which can be likened to something like a glitch or bug in the brains framework. It doesn’t know if you’re awake or dreaming …
The GPS Effect
GPS has become a huge part of our lives in the past decade and something most of us can’t be without, but using GPS regularly comes with a price. Researchers claim that using GPS often gives us a false sense of security when navigating around new places, which is not always a great idea depending on where you are. Too much GPS also makes it harder for us to create spatial maps in our brains which lead to us losing our natural sense of direction.