The World's 10 Most Addictive Sounds

Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, an auditory neuroscientist at Boston University, said that though the sounds identified by the study are extremely meaningful, with the exception of the giggling baby, most are not inherently addictive.

Neuroscientist: Brains Have Evolved to Pick Out Patterns

"They're identifiable. They brain responds to repetition. Our brains are good at picking out patterns that repeat. We've evolved to do that," she said.

She said that if she chose an arbitrary sound, as long as it was clear and distinctive, and then played it 50 times a day for the next five years (as many of the branded sounds have been), it would become attention-grabbing.

Of most sounds on the list, she said, "I don't think they're so much addictive because of their acoustic properties, but because of their ubiquity."

Still she said that there is neurophysiological evidence showing that brain is hardwired to notice certain kinds of sounds.

For example, the abrupt, jarring sound of a slamming door could prompt cells in a person's brain stem to fire even before that person was conscious of it, she said. For early humans, that kind of sound could have meant it's time to run for the hills.

She also said that studies have demonstrated the existence of a so-called "cocktail party effect."

"At a party, if you hear your name in the background, even if you're not paying attention, that's something that will draw your attention involuntarily," she said. "Your brain is so exposed to your name and it's tremendously important to you, so it encodes that so you respond to it."

That's one addictive sound that isn't likely to pop up in a commercial anytime soon, but for a complete list of the other most addictive sounds, click on to the next page.

The Most Addictive Sounds

Non-branded and branded sounds:

1. Baby giggle
2. Intel chime
3. Vibrating phone
4. ATM/cash register
5. National Geographic theme
6. MTV theme
7. T-Mobile ringtone
8. McDonald's jingle
9. "Star Spangled Banner"
10. State Farm jingle

Top 10 Branded sounds:

1. Intel chime
2. National Geographic theme
3. MTV theme
4. T-Mobile ringtone
5. McDonald's jingle
7. State Farm jingle
8. AT&T ringtone
9. Home Depot jingle
10 Palm Treo ringtone

Top 10 Non-branded sounds:

1. Baby giggle
2. Vibrating phone
3. ATM / cash register
4. "Star Spangled Banner"
5. Sizzling steak
6. "Hail to the Chief"
7. Cigarette light and inhale
8. "Wedding March"
9. "Wish Upon a Star"
10. "Late Night with David Letterman" theme

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