Hit songs aid memory research

Researchers from the University of Amsterdam and the Manchester Science Festival have teamed up to study the power of melodic hooks on long-term memory – and they want your help.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 24 Jun 2014
  • min read
Together with Manchester’s Museum of Science & Industry, they have created an online game that will shed light on what makes some songs more memorable than others.

They are calling on music fans to play the game, dubbed #HookedOnMusic, to identify song clips and compare them by their catchiness.

Researchers believe the findings will help them understand the power of musical hooks in relation to long-term memory and the treatment for dementia.

Dr Ashley Burgoyne of the University of Amsterdam said: ‘We do know that music has a very powerful effect on memory, more powerful than many other memory triggers. But the reasons for it aren't completely understood.

‘Why is it that there are certain pieces of music that you hear just a couple of times and 10 years later you hear it again, and you may have forgotten the title and the artist, but the music comes back to your immediately?’

Burgoyne is hoping that 10,000 people will play the game. To find out more about the project, please visit http://www.hookedonmusic.org.uk/