Brain Becomes an Ipod

An excerpt from the science section of the nytimes, this is actually pretty interesting... wonder if there are audiophile grade hallucinations?

Each day, the music returns. "They're all songs I've heard during my lifetime," said Mr. King, 83. "One would come on, and then it would run into another one, and that's how it goes on in my head. It's driving me bonkers, to be quite honest."

Last year, Mr. King was referred to Dr. Victor Aziz, a psychiatrist at St. Cadoc's Hospital in Wales. Dr. Aziz explained to him that there was a name for his experience: musical hallucinations. Dr. Aziz belongs to a small circle of psychiatrists and neurologists who are investigating this condition. They suspect that the hallucinations experienced by Mr. King and others are a result of malfunctioning brain networks that normally allow us to perceive music.

They also suspect that many cases of musical hallucinations go undiagnosed.

"You just need to look for it," Dr. Aziz said. And based on his studies of the hallucinations, he suspects that in the next few decades, they will be far more common.

Mr. King's experience was typical for people experiencing musical hallucinations. Patients reported hearing a wide variety of songs, among them "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and "Three Blind Mice."

There is no standard procedure for treating musical hallucinations. Some doctors try antipsychotic drugs, and some use cognitive behavioral therapy to help patients understand what's going on in their brains. Despite these treatments, many people with musical hallucinations find little relief.

Dr. Aziz suspects that musical hallucinations will become more common in the future. People today are awash in music from radios, televisions, elevators and supermarkets. It is possible that the pervasiveness of music may lead to more hallucinations. The types of hallucinations may also change as people experience different kinds of songs.

"We have speculated that people will hear more pop and classical music than they do now," said Dr. Aziz. "I hope I live long enough to find out myself in 20 years' time."

I guess the lesson is be careful what you listen to...
I don't listen to Nelly...but for a while I couldn't get that damn "shimmy shimmy cocoa puff"...or whatever it is he is saying out of my head due to the fact that I live in a college town and I must have heard that song hundreds of times coming from booming car stereos.
There have been times I actually "heard" the music without the stereo playing. It is completely different then recalling or remember the song. It's rare (maybe once every couple years) but it's cool. Wish I could do it all the time.
One upside of having this hallucination is to do away with your gear as everything you need to hear music is in your head. Saves you $$$. Though you must weigh if the possibility of going nuts is worth it. :)