The brain and GLEE: The songs that just won’t leave your head

Does Gwenyth Paltrow have a point? Is there a way that we can selectively choose which pieces of information we could remember? Will you ever be able to get this song out of your head?  To be honest, maybe.

During the 1800s, the field of phrenology was just developing.  Phrenology is the idea  that the bumps on your skull are representative of your intelligence or personality.  If one part of your brain was larger than others, then you would be ‘more of’ that quality.  However,  neuroscientists tested this idea by removing the area responsible for secrecy, predicting that the patient would tell everyone all of their secrets.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.  The amount of the cortex lesioned, not necessarily the location, had more of an effect.

But these researchers weren’t too far off.  Wilder Penfield, a canadian neurosurgeon, found that patients would experience memories based on stimulation of different parts of the lobe.  They would recount a specific memory or time after the stimulation.  It might be a lot of work, but if we were able to find the location where the song actually is, we might be able to lesion that area to get rid of it.

So is it possible to actually ‘forget you’?  Yes.  Is it worth it?  Definitely not.  Glee is a great show and you should keep the songs stuck in your head!


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