If you're wondering why the annoying jingle you heard on a gum commercial gets locked in your brain all day long, or you stare at a word and it just doesn't look right...you're not alone! Brain tics happen to everyone. Most are harmless, but some might signal an issue. Check out these six common tics and what they mean to your neurological health:
#1 Ear Worms
No, you don't have bugs in your brain! An ear worm is the technical term for the bothersome loop that plays in your brain after you hear a catchy song. We all get them. I currently can't shake Katy Perry's Teenage Dream
from playing on repeat in my mind. 98% of people experience this phenomena and it's not dangerous.
You're writing an essay and you get stuck on the word 'Wednesday'. You know it's right, the dictionary confirms it. But it just doesn't look correct.
"When a common, simple word suddenly looks odd, we call that wordnesia." says Allen Towfigh, medical director at New York Neurology and Sleep Medicine. "There's no neurological basis for it. It's simply anecdotal and could be an element of fatigue."
So get some rest and come back to it in the morning! Eating healthy fats like nuts, avocados and fish can also help improve fatigue-based brain fog.
When I was a child, I always remembered which numbers and letters came next based on the colour in which they displayed themselves, as in my mind. I thought it was just an odd trick to remembering things, but it is called synesthesia. It's a cluster of the senses. Some people taste
names or see
music notes in vivid colours.
"Synesthesia does not seem to be indicative of an underlying disorder." says Gayani DeSilva, a psychiatrist with St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA. "I suspect that as we learn more about sensory integration disorders, we will learn more about why some people perceive sensory input in different ways."
#4 Transient Global Amnesia
This happens on those days when you walk into the kitchen and forget what you were getting. But in severe cases, people can forget their own names or the faces of loved ones even for a few seconds.
"If you have a small seizure in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory, your memory returns as blood flow is restored." says Towfigh.
You should always get it checked out, even if an incident occurs just once.
#5 Déjà Vu
This is the sense that what you are experiencing has happened in the exact same way in the past. It is a harmless occurrence, no matter how real it seems. There is no proof as to why this happens, but there are theories.
"One theory behind déjà vu is that one input occurs a millisecond before the other ear or eye and makes it feel as if it's already occurred." explains Towfigh.
#6 Jamais Vu
The opposite of déjà vu, this occurs when you don't recognize a familiar place.
"This feeling often occurs before an epileptic seizure." says Towfigh. "It may be your brain's inability to match with its stored records."
Report to your doctor if you have this symptom, but it can also be a result of mere brain fatigue.
Have you experienced any of these weird brain tics?
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