‘Tip of the Tongue’ Experiences Explained

June 3, 2010

I first read about the research on ‘Tip of the Tongue’ experiences back in the 1980s in The Psychology of Anomalous Experience: A Cognitive Approach by Graham F. Reed.

The fascinating aspect to me was that clearly one part of our brain knew the correct answer because we’re almost always able to reject the incorrect suggestions. When we try and remember the name of that great Southern food restaurant on Great Jones Street we may be certain that it’s one word and starts with an “A” but we’ll know that Alias, Arno, Abbott’s, Apache, etc. are not correct. (The answer is Acme).

So it’s clear that our brain can store information that is (temporarily) unavailable to us and be able to tell us when we guess wrong.  New research on this phenomenon is described in this article the LiveScience site where it’s been found that people who use American Sign Language experience a similar ‘tip of the fingers’ effect. Go here to read about this latest study.


Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.