It’s easier to chat at parties if you don’t know the music playing

Music playing at parties can make it difficult to maintain conversations, particularly if you know the songs

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Background music at a party can be distracting when you are trying to have a conversation, but it may be easier to stay focused if the song playing is unfamiliar to you – and you are a musical person.

Jane Brown at the University of Memphis in Tennessee and her colleagues wanted to understand how background music affects how we follow conversations.

The team analysed the brain activity of 31 people, aged between 21 and…

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