Baker’s Hours

March 25, 2009

A "WTF" Moment from Radiolab

Filed under: Blog Info,Personal Stuff — Admin @ 11:17 pm
Tags: , ,

wnycSo, I’m at work today listening to podcasts as I go about my daily tasks. I had just started listening to the Pop Music episode of Radiolab, when I am literally floored. Yes as the title of this entry suggests, a total “WTF!” moment.  Why was I floored you ask? Because this particular episode addressed something that has been apart of my life as long as I can remember, and happens to feature very prominently on this blog. In the first part of this podcast, hosts Jad Abumrad & Robert Krulwich talked about how people get songs stuck in their heads.

Now, if you’re seen at least one of my blog posts, you will know that I end every entry with whatever song happens to be rattling around in my head at the time I am about to post, and I also have every song listed in my  Blog Playlist. I was completely enamored as they talked to various specialist about what they called, “Musical Hallucinations”. All this time, I thought it was just a stupid song stuck in my head, but turns out I’m hallucinating. Kind of an extreme term in my opinion. The word “Hallucination” brings to mind all sorts of mental instabilities, but hey, what do I know. I just know that all this time I’ve had songs stuck in my head, and now they have a name for it. *Shrugs* 

One thing that I found particularly freakish was when they explained that musical hallucinations are caused by feed back from the brain to the ear. So, when you hear things, sound travels from the ear to the brain. However, should there be a lack of sound, then the brain feeds sound, in this case music, back to the ear. Thus creating the effect of hearing music that isn’t there. Okay, now here is where it gets super freaky, for me at least. Because the musical hallucinations are caused by feed back from the brain during the absence of sound, people who most experience this phenomenon are those who are partially deaf, or have recently become deaf.

Why would this be so shocking to me? Because I am partially deaf. I have a 20% hearing loss in my right ear, and a 25% hearing loss in my left ear. So, according to Radiolab, my partial deafness is the cause of my tendency to always have a song rattling around in my head.

I’m sure that you’ve noticed by now, that this entry has nothing to do with food, but this was just so amazing to me, and I just had to share. If you haven’t listened to the Radiolab podcast from WNYC, then I suggest you downloading now. It’s an awesome show, and you never know what you may find. Perhaps there is a Radiolab story that you will be able to relate to.




Song Stuck in my head at the time of this post: Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash (Listen to the Pop Music episode, and you’ll know why)


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