T’s your “Bad Romance.” Like the “Ugly” “Disease” Lady Gaga sings about wanting in this song, an earworm has likely just lodged itself deep inside the auditory cortex of your brain.

Dr. Jakubowski and her colleagues at Durham University, Goldsmiths, University of London and the University of Tübingen in Germany looked for structural patterns in the melodies of earworm songs.

They also compared them with other popular songs by similar artists and chart rankings that had not been listed as earworms in their research, like Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance.” They found that earworm songs tended to be fast, with a common, simple melodic structure that generally went up and down and repeated, like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” But the earworm songs also had surprising, unusual intervals, like the chorus in “Bad Romance” or the opening riff of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water.”

Understanding earworms isn’t just about identifying catchy songs, it’s harnessing a small window into the mind.

If we better understand why and how some songs stick in particular brains, not only do we better understand memory and help patients live better lives, but we possibly can improve memory, mood and marketing said Dr. Jakubowski.

What’s your earworm? It doesn’t have to be a pop song.