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Science Explains Why We Can't Get Super Mario Bro. Out of Our Heads

Super Mario Bros Video Game Cover 1985
If you think of video game music, then you think of Super Mario Bros. But why? Why does a song made decades ago still get stuck in our heads? PBS’ Game/Show produced a video hosted by Jamin Warren that explains exactly why.

Psychology Today wrote a wonderful article about how music evokes nostalgia and that psychologist "Schulkind and his colleagues found that the more emotion a song generated for someone, the more likely the song would cue a memory. In addition, older songs more often evoked memories for the older participants whereas recent tunes brought memories to mind more often for the college students."

Slate write an article that explained

"researchers have uncovered evidence that suggests our brains bind us to the music we heard as teenagers more tightly than anything we’ll hear as adults—a connection that doesn’t weaken as we age. Musical nostalgia, in other words, isn’t just a cultural phenomenon: It’s a neuronic command. And no matter how sophisticated our tastes might otherwise grow to be, our brains may stay jammed on those songs we obsessed over during the high drama of adolescence."
So not only do we like the song, our neurons will synchronize with the beat of the music. But, why Super Mario Bros? Because the songs were synchronized to the play of the game!

It's fascinating stuff and worth the ten minutes (five for the actual video) of your time to watch.

If you want the song stuck in your head, or just want to relive the memories, watch the video below

Via Laughing Squid

Why do you think the Mario song gets stuck in your head? Which video game has your favorite music?If you enjoyed this, then please use the buttons below to tell your friends about this post! Follow us! Email | RSSTwitter | Facebook


  1. The music had to be written into the game - interesting.
    I played the game, but for some reason that theme song never got stuck in my head.
    Pac-Man - now that's a different story.

  2. I have a version of the song recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, which is always fun. I always find it kind of sad I can remember jingles from 30 years ago and yet forget what I had for breakfast this morning. Speaking of nostalgia, did you see the Seinfeld where George couldn't get the jingle "By Mennen" out of his head and came up with his own version, "Co-stan-za?"

  3. It's similar to smells and scents. If they're connected to something fun and from my youth, they trigger those memories. It's fascinating stuff.

  4. I rarely played the game, but my kids did all the time. When I heard the music at least I knew where they were, what they were doing, and I could relax for a while. Maybe that's why it stuck in my head. Psychology is such interesting stuff.

  5. That's fascinating Donna. For you it's not the game but the feeling of relaxation that came with knowing the kids were occupied. Psychology is fascinating indeed.

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  7. Marie Carolaine FameroJune 9, 2015 at 9:42 AM

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  8. I want to win tickets to see Jurassic World because I have been a huge Jurassic Park fan since 1993 :)! My personal favorite dino is the Velociraptor.

  9. Elisabeth Johanna BlackerJune 9, 2015 at 10:58 AM

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